Article Revised: March 28, 2019
Northwest Navy Life reported this month that a corpsman was cited for significant procedure improvement using Lean Six Sigma.
When Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Keith Cole returned to his post from a week of Lean Six Sigma Training he looked at his work flow with new eyes, and the first thing that caught his attention was the amount of time that it took to receive and inventory eyeglasses. Cole explained,
“Until now, everyone involved seemed to complain about the old process but, because it had ‘always been done this way,’ we just continued. “
However, following his training, Cole realized that he needed to distance himself from that kind of attitude in order to see processes with room for improvement.
Using Lean Six Sigma principles, Cole measured the amount of time that it took to scan in an average eyeglass shipment and discovered that he and his teammates were spending 106 seconds per pair which added up to almost six hours for an entire shipment. With the support of his commanding officer, Cole analyzed the process to look for redundancies and possible areas for improvement. The result was a reduction in time to 13 seconds per pair of eyeglasses, or under 1 hour for an entire shipment.
This improved process for receiving an eyeglass shipment means that Cole has more time to focus his talents on the customer, his patients.
“It gives me more time for actual patient service,” Cole said. “I have spent hours and hours just checking in glasses that now can be used in patient care at the counter.”