Instruction Should Be Both Consistent and LEAN

By: Lori Gallian | Posted on: Jun 13, 2016

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How much is a good nurse educator worth? You know them because they stick out in a crowd. They are passionate, competent, educated and experienced nurses who want to educate and mentor others to achieve excellence in nursing. For our purposes, we will call her Jane. Jane is a nurse educator for a large metropolitan hospital. She is a brilliant nurse, and has over twenty years of experience. Her passion is to help “new” nurses become “old” nurses, and mentor them along the way. However, today she is teaching an ACLS Renewal course. While she is a very proficient instructor, she has not taught ACLS in a year. Jane stepped up to instruct because the scheduled instructor cancelled at the last minute. Jane secured the room months in advance, knowing room space is always scarce. All the mannequins and equipment from her education center in another building had to be carried over to the room, only to find out she was bumped into a smaller room without AV equipment at the last minute. After returning to her center to get the AV equipment, Jane scrambles to set everything up and get ready to teach ACLS. Sound familiar? Arguably, Jane is an incredible asset to any hospital system. She knows patient care, loves to educate and has a passion for mentoring nurses. Honestly, we need hundreds of Janes.

Reducing waste seems like an easy concept, doesn’t it? But, like most concepts it struggles in the face of reality. However, Lean methods gave us an acronym to help define and look for areas of waste, DOWNTIME: Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Non-utilized talent, Transportation, Inventory, Motion and Extra processes. As the Toyota Corporation realized in formulating the Lean concept, solutions usually lie with the worker who is closest to the challenge. For over a decade, Cascade Training has been the worker closest to the challenge of training in hospital systems. In that time, and together with our training partners, we at Cascade Training have learned that we contribute to reducing waste a few ways: Motion, Inventory, Non-utilized talent, and Extra processes (MINE).
Motion

Moving, breaking down classrooms and retrieving equipment can take up to an hour on either side of a class session. If Jane teaches two standardized American Heart Association (AHA) classes a week, she could spend up to four hours moving equipment. At Cascade Training, we do all the moving. Either we will come to you with our equipment and instructor, or you can come to our local training center where all the equipment is already set up.

Inventory

The inventory required for standardized AHA or Emergency Nurse Association (ENA) courses is expensive in terms of the space required to store equipment, as well as maintenance and replacement parts required. Valuable space should be reserved for educational campaign material that are important to you and Jane, such as Patient Safety and Clinical Nurse Leadership. At Cascade Training, we will manage and maintain our inventory and bring it to you in excellent working order. 

Non-Utilized Talent

We would probably try to recruit Jane to be a part-time educator for us. We have a nose for talent, and we have more than a few Janes working for us while they maintain their passion at their full-time jobs. But, if Jane worked for you, is using her as an ACLS instructor the best use of her as a talented resource for your hospital? Possibly, as teaching is one of the best mentoring tools available. However, coordinating and administrating AHA courses takes time; perhaps Jane’s time and talent could be used to innovate training solutions unique to your hospital system. Cascade Training provides standardized training so that you can utilize your in-house talent to innovate educational solutions for the particular needs of your hospital.

Extra Processes

If one of your caregivers takes an ACLS class outside of your hospital, it is likely you have a process in place to reimburse them for the cost of the class. The process probably includes the approval of a nurse manager or director, and the issuance of a separate check. At Cascade Training, we know a hassle when we see one.  We eliminate this process altogether by having your staff sign up for our classes online, and we will invoice your billing center. Your hassle becomes ours, and your caregiver does not have to wait for reimbursement.

Lastly, Lean efficiency relies on standardization. At Cascade Training, all we do is healthcare training and we provide the same standardized course every time. We standardize where it makes sense, but like good healthcare providers we are nimble enough to innovate when the situation arises. Just like Jane would instinctively use her twenty years of experience as a nurse to innovate patient care solutions, we use our collective knowledge in partnering with large healthcare providers to partner with you and create innovative and customized training solutions when you need them.

Reducing waste is the driving force in Lean Healthcare. But, reducing waste could be interpreted as the mechanism used to value people and quality. Jane is valuable, and when she is relieved of some of the waste found in MINE: responsibility of setting up classrooms, maintaining equipment, administrating AHA courses, and reimbursing those who take classes elsewhere, Jane could be allowed to shine a bit brighter. In fact, a large healthcare provider recently told us that Cascade Training saved them $190,000 in one year of training. Imagine what you could do with an extra $190,000 in your budget. We are pretty sure there is another Jane out there waiting for you to hire her.

How much is a good nurse educator worth? You know them because they stick out in a crowd. They are passionate, competent, educated and experienced nurses who want to educate and mentor others to achieve excellence in nursing. For our purposes, we will call her Jane. Jane is a nurse educator for a large metropolitan hospital. She is a brilliant nurse, and has over twenty years of experience. Her passion is to help “new” nurses become “old” nurses, and mentor them along the way. However, today she is teaching an ACLS Renewal course. While she is a very proficient instructor, she has not taught ACLS in a year. Jane stepped up to instruct because the scheduled instructor cancelled at the last minute. Jane secured the room months in advance, knowing room space is always scarce. All the mannequins and equipment from her education center in another building had to be carried over to the room, only to find out she was bumped into a smaller room without AV equipment at the last minute. After returning to her center to get the AV equipment, Jane scrambles to set everything up and get ready to teach ACLS. Sound familiar?  Arguably, Jane is an incredible asset to any hospital system. She knows patient care, loves to educate and has a passion for mentoring nurses. Honestly, we need hundreds of Janes.