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Application of 5S approach to healthcare quality

Seval Akgn.

Much attention has been drawn to the demand for improvement of Quality in Healthcare organisations and to achieve improved outcomes for patients as well as to bring increased patient satisfaction and staff satisfaction. Some important areas to be addressed in this regard are improvement of work environment, reduction of waste and correction of delays in the various care processes and procedures. 5S is a simple, easy to understand management approach that was originally applied in the manufacturing sector for workplace organisation. It is now being practiced in the service sector. It is a stand alone approach that originated in Japan and increasingly used as the first step towards quality improvement in the service sector. If practiced in a hospital it helps to maintain a high degree of cleanliness and orderliness in the work place, and reduces waste in the processes of care, and improves patient flow. It is known for its ability to establish the essential prerequisites of working environment, practices and mind-set, which are the necessary foundations for an effective quality improvement program. This paper presents a brief overview of 5S approach and describes its methodology for implementation in Healthcare organisations.

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