Our vision hasn’t changed in more than 100 years.  We believe all children should grow up free from illness and injury. What has changed is the world around us. Efficiency is more important than ever in today’s health care environment. That’s why Seattle Children’s is one of the first medical centers in the country to apply Continuous Performance Improvement (CPI) methods to the delivery of health care – including the design and operation of our Building Hope expansion.

Adapted from the Toyota Production System, CPI guides our quest for safer, more efficient and less wasteful ways to care for patients throughout our system. Below are a few examples from Building Hope (more to come in part 2).

The new building will streamline access to commonly used supplies by storing them in small “supermarkets” close to the point of care. We’ll pass medications, linens and other items to and from patient rooms though cabinets with doors on the inside and outside of the room – all part of a strategy to limit inventories to no more, but also no less, than patients and caregivers require at any time.  In addition, the streamlined process will increase efficiency by reducing the time caregivers spend retrieving supplies.

Each 16-bed unit will have two pneumatic tube stations to expedite sending and receiving more urgent items. And we’ll let gravity dispose of trash and soiled linens through chutes leading from patient care units to the loading deck.

Next: Reducing waits, preventing errors