Correctional Pharmacy order packing area.

Situation

The St Vincent’s Hospital Correctional Pharmacy service packs and transports medications to the customer. The team of pharmacists and technicians pack more than 160 different medication packs per day.

The main customer they service was expanding, and demand was forecast to increase by 10%.

At current demand, the team at the Correctional Pharmacy often worked late into the night to fulfil their customer orders. Together with TSSC Australia, St Vincent’s Pharmacy management identified the need to decrease the time it takes to process each single order, to enable the team to cater for the increase in demand.

Challenges/Improvement

The layout of the pharmacy created unnecessary walking and motion associated with processing each order. This additional movement increased the time it takes technicians and pharmacists to complete their work.

The isolated workstations did not allow work to be shared easily, which made the packing process take longer to complete.

The orders were released to the packing process in bulk, and did not allow the team to track their progress to making the customer deliveries for the day.

Pharmacy staff working together on a layout to reduce unnecessary movement and motion waste.

Execution

TSSC Australia worked with the team through a cross functional improvement activity.

The team mapped out the current packing process and material flow. They then identified areas of waste that added to their work or caused delays.

The team then developed an efficient layout and work cycle to eliminate the identified waste.








The new layout of the Correctional Pharmacy work area following the improvement activity.

Results

With the improvements, the team is now able to complete the daily orders and cater for the customer’s increased demand, without increasing staffing or working late.

The lead time of packing medication packs reduced from 210 minutes to just 34 minutes. The team can now see their progress during the day and whether they are on track to meet the customer deliveries.

TSSC Australia continues to work with St Vincent’s Hospital Redesign team to share TPS concepts throughout the hospital.