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  1. Richardson, David M. MD
  2. Rupp, Valerie A. MSN, RN, CRNP
  3. Long, Kayla R. DO
  4. Urquhart, Megan C. DO
  5. Ricart, Erin MD
  6. Newcomb, Lindsay R. DO
  7. Myers, Paul J. Jr DO
  8. Kane, Bryan G. MD


BACKGROUND: Timely stocking of essential supplies in an emergency department (ED) is crucial to efficient and effective patient care.


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to decrease wasted nursing time in obtaining needed supplies in an ED through the use of Lean process controls.


METHODS: As part of a Lean project, the team conducted a "before and after" prospective observation study of ED nurses seeking supplies. Nurses were observed for an entire shift for the time spent outside the patient room obtaining supplies at baseline and after implementation of a point-of-use storage system.


RESULTS: Before implementation, nurses were leaving patient rooms a median of 11 times per 8-hour shift (interquartile range [IQR], 8 times per 8-hour shift) and 10 times per 12-hour shift (IQR, 23 times per 12-hour shift). After implementation of the new system, the numbers decreased to 2.5 per 8-hour shift (IQR, 2 per 8-hour shift) and 1 per 12-hour shift (IQR, 1 per 12-hour shift).


CONCLUSION: A redesigned process including a standardized stocking system significantly decreases the number of searches by nurses for supplies.