Leading Continuous Improvement

2011/2012 Improvement Awards Winner

The winner and runners up of Ci forum Annual Project Awards, kindly sponsored by Minitab,was decided and announced at the Ci forum Conference 2012.
Finalists 2

(Photo- from left to right - Sharon Robinson - IAG, 2nd runner up - Ian Hutchby - Counties Manukau DHB, winner - Brijen Shah, Carmel Cournane - healthAlliance 3rd runner up)


Congratulations to our winner Counties Manukau District Health Board
Winner John Danial and Ian
Improved access to treatment for heart attack patients - Counties Manukau District Health Board

(Photo left to right John McTaggart Director Ci forum, Ian Hutchby, Counties Manukau DHB Winner - Daniel Hunt Director Ci forum)

Improved access to treatment for heart attack patients - Project Leader:  Dr Vanessa Thornton  - Media Coverage Howick and Pakuranga Times

Our challenge is to ensure all eligible patients in the Auckland metropolitan area, who present with an acute ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), receive primary Percutaneous Cardiac Intervention (PCI), within 90 mins, regardless of geographical location and time of day.

If a patient presents to Middlemore Hospital (MMH) after hours then they must be transferred to Auckland City Hospital (ACH) for treatment as they provide the regional service overnight and at weekends

Data analysis showed that 82% of patients presented after hours and as a result of delays only 17% reached the catheterisation lab at ACH within 90 minutes.

Delays were identified in the ‘end to end’ process, from initial ‘seen by’ time at patient’s location to delivery of PCI. 

At Counties Manukau DHB, we have been leading a regional approach to the after hours problem, working in collaboration with Waitemata DHB, who experience similar issues, ACH and St John ambulance service. Initial PDSA cycles have shown a dramatic improvement in the number of patients receiving PCI within 90 minutes after hours as well as a reduction in the average time to PCI

Congratulations to our first runner up - IAG
John Sharon and Daniel 1
State Mail Lodgements - IAG
State Mail Lodgements, A Lean Six Sigma Business Improvement Project - Improvement Leader:  Sharon Robinson

1. Project Journey:

• Goals:

- Gain bulk mail discount for as many mail lodgements as possible.
- Sharon to learn LSS methodology and tools.

• Process crossed multiple organisations.

• The changed business process was monitored for month.  At the end of the month the stable process was handed back to the business owner.  The potential savings was estimated at $220K.

• After Christmas, it was found that a new person performing the process was unaware of the changed process.  After 1 month of monitoring, discussion, visits and process changes (laminated instructions above desk, a new quality assurance role at Western Mailing) the new process was again being followed.

• The implemented process is currently stable.  The process has a medium level of mistake proofing, allowing the business process owner to detect process variation and initiate investigation prior to feeling the impact in the wallet.  Errors are still not able to be prevented.

2. People Journey:
Project was a people journey as much as it was a project solving a business problem.  Initially stakeholders agreed that the problem required resolution, but believed that this could only be solved by changing a system.  A key meeting, using LSS tools, turned that around. 

Congratulations to our second runner up
Paper Tiger - healthAlliance

Paper Tiger - Project Leader:  Cherian Thomas

Paper Tiger is a healthAlliance Staff Service Centre’s (SSC) first continuous improvement (hArmony) initiative using Lean and Six Sigma philosophy and tools. SSC identified that delays in maintaining the paper HR record were causing staff stress and negatively impacting customer satisfaction. The paper HR record is a key set of documents relied on by our DHB customers in managing the employment relationship. Delays in having complete and up to date records were a cause of rework, significant back-log, wasted effort and tension for both SSC and the HR community.
Improvement areas included reducing paper generated internally, taking a fresh look at process and workflows and the number of touch points, rethinking the method of storing the different types of records held to find methods fit for purpose and time efficient.

Carmel says “The tools provided in the hArmony training have given us an excellent platform for streamlining and improving our paper and general workflows. The Lean method has proven that what you think is the problem at the start is not always the case. The level of improvements we have found has far exceeded my expectations.”
This initiative had a very positive impact on the staff satisfaction and engagement allowing the team to free up capacity and invest the human capital in improving other services.
• Number of paper records reduced – 604 per fortnight. 17% of total paper records.
• The average process time was reduced from 52 days to 6 days.
• Hard Savings - $45,000
• Soft Savings - $109, 710

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