Facility managers are looking for ways to cut back and ideas on how to get more for less.

One option is to conduct an audit of existing spaces. The analysis may shed light on areas that can be consolidated for smarter, more efficient uses.

Begin by looking at processes and patterns within areas. Study staff movements; patient flow; needs and timing of information, equipment and medications; then identify room for improvement. You’ll want to look for areas of clutter, misalignment or adjacencies. From there, apply LEAN concepts and consider relocating work zones or reconfiguring flows.

Here’s an example of how we applied LEAN and made a more efficient space.

Park Nicollet Health Care Services’ Endoscopy Center

We worked with an Endoscopy Center that had four and a half procedure rooms (one room was shared with Pulmonary’s Bronchoscopy needs), and performed 32 procedures a day. The demand for one or two more physicians was there, but there was no space for additional procedure rooms or patient prep area.

We took a step back and decided to conduct a LEAN workshop which included an audit of the space. We gathered data about the patient and staff workflow for a month and thoroughly studied operations in the clinic. Working with staff, we were able to redesign the processes the flow of the four-room area and the space, all using LEAN techniques. When we had the new layout, flow and processes in place, the center was able to handle 74 patients a day, without adding square footage.