Acute Occupational & Physical Therapy Services Lean Initiative
What began as an assessment of Acute Occupational and Physical Therapy services offered on the weekends evolved into overall service improvements every day for the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
A lean team found that PT and OT therapists were spending nearly 58 percent of their time every day – about 4.6 hours – on medically necessary tasks other than direct patient care. They knew they were onto something big. The team applied several lean quality measurements and researched the records of more than 800 University Hospital and Cardiovascular Center patients to gauge the frequency of service delays and impact on care delivery.
“Realizing that we were not matching the right skills with the task was a major 'a-ha' moment for us,” says Jose Kottoor, M.S., P.T., director of Occupational and Physical Therapy.
Kottoor says a true “culture shift” occurred by moving many routine non-patient care tasks from the physical and occupational therapists to technicians – and by the entire group taking ownership for identifying further improvements to the process. Sustained success has been made possible by the strong leadership of supervisors Debbie Pettitt, O.T., Kim Dosch, P.T., and Don Packard, P.T.
“The project has given the therapists time to focus on the value added work they were hired to do: provide therapy to our patients,” says lean coach Brendon Weil, who helped steer team members through the lean process.
“The therapists are making a difference in more patients’ lives by being able to see more patients each day and provide more focused skilled care,” says Lindsey Boutell, P.T., a physical therapy clinical specialist. “It has been a lot of fun to be able to integrate a new accessory to our department by adding techs to our daily activities. The techs provide an incredibly positive outlook to our patients, making physical therapy a little less intimidating.”
Rehabilitation technician Cassandra Redmon says, “The patients now have an opportunity to have any needs addressed beforehand, such as their medications, and gives them time for mental relaxation and preparation for physical therapy.”
The lean process resulted in many significant improvements:
Written by Cathy Mellett
For more information about this project, please contact Jose Kottoor at 734-936-7070.
The lean team:
Inside View Editorial Advisory Group
Constance Bridges, Office of the Dean, Medical School
Paula Greeno, Office of the EVPMA
Teri Grieb, MSA Office of Research
Judy Hallberg, S.P.H.R., UMMS Human Resources
Kelly, UMHS Human Resources
Erin Koenigsknecht, UMHS Marketing Communications
Eric Kratochwill, UMHHC Office of the CEO
Allison Krieger, Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Rick Krupinski, Editor, Medicine at Michigan
Alisa Morningstar, UMHS, MFit Health Promotion
Sara Nielsen, Safety Management Services
Tammy Nipper, UMMS Human Resources
Juanita Parry, Nurse Recruitment & Retention
Steve Raymond, UMHHC Leadership & Staff Development
Karen Schlueter, Livonia Health Center
Connie Standiford, Medical School Administration
Carole Strong, House Officers Association
Public Relations & Marketing Communications Staff
Michael Harrison, chief public relations and marketing officer
Kara Gavin, director of public relations
Beth Johnson, editor and senior writer
Jessica Soulliere, assistant editor
Geoff O'Connor, Web developer
Anne Rueter, senior public relations representative
Mary Masson, senior public relations representative
Cathy Mellett, contributing writer
Haley Otman, contributing writer
Juliet Fuller, photography coordinator
Bruce Spiher, information technology writer