Lean In A Veterinary Clinic

I recently made a comment on the Linkedin group Lean Learning Center when asked how to start lean in a non manufacturing setting. I am currently implementing lean in a vet clinic and I wanted to share some of the findings. and to get your thoughts. The very first thing I asked to the staff was where do you have a problem. Their answer: The filling system. This is how they currently file: Last Name, First Name, Pet’s Name. they even have visuals on the side of the files to show what the first 3 letters of the last name are so they can find the names quicker but they still have problems with filling an searching for files. See the before state below:

The team came up with great ideas:
-Change to a number system- number would be done by the client number in the computer
-Make sure the color codes for the firsts 3 letters of the last name are all unique, currently several letters share the same color
-Go 100% electronic
-Put in quick find tabs that give us ranges of names for the more common last names.
The guidance I gave to the team was we need to implement something today so they decided the best option was to put in marker tabs. We would start in the high volume names (i.e. names that start with WIL or HAR, etc) and see how it works. Below is an example of their implemntation:



The points I emphasized where to just try something an if it doesn’t work then change it. They love the tabs but they fin it gets in the way at times so they are changing the tabs to stick out vertically instead of horizontally.

The key points from the implantation:
1) Start with a need
2) Bias towards action
3) To start momentum go for low hanging fruit that everyone agrees is an opportunity an start there with out rigors data collection.

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

As a reminder here are radio appearances that I have this week:

KBZNZ’s Business Genies hosted by Max Gregorich. We talk about lean in several industries and smaller businesses:
Friday February 5th at 12:00pm PST
Saturday February 6th at 12:00am PST
Monday February 8th at 1:00 am & 1:00pm PST
Wednesday February 10th at 2:00am & 2:00pm PST
Thursday February 11th at 10:00am & 10:00pm PST

Also on Karl Waddensten’s “Lean Nation” radio show Monday February 8th at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm PST for a live show to talk about Lean in the small business world. I’ll talk about my experiences with Medical practices, Veterinary practices, and other small businesses. Please call in to the show 401-437-5000 or 888-345-0790.