Will POKA-YOKE help for healthcare service providers in this pandemic?

 May 21, 2021  mohammed.vava@gmail.com


Will POKA-YOKE help for healthcare service providers in this pandemic?

Yes. This pandemic changes everything upside down, where you haven’t experienced before. Any way it teaches us many lessons. But if you listed it, first you will write out the healthcare infrastructure. Of course, this pandemic gives us an alarm about that what we have to give more priority in our life?

Researcher’s and scientists are working 24×7 on vaccinations and further curative procedures. Here, once we start to think out on healthcare infrastructure, it integrates preventive, diagnostic and curative procedures.


This article review about, Will Poka-Yoke help for healthcare service providers in this pandemic?

Before that, what is Poka-Yoke?

Poka-Yoke is a lean methodology tool which helps you to prevent mistake from happening. As well as it immediately catches any mistakes that happens.

The aim of Poka-Yoke is to design processes so that mistakes are prevented or corrected immediately, thus eliminating defects at the source.

In healthcare sector, the involvement of manpower is higher than comparing any other and this sector entirely deals with lifesaving process.

Here, the reality is human errors are inevitable in any process, but for every error, there is a cause(s) that can be corrected or a system implemented to detect the error for correction. Poka-Yoke is that tool which helps you to design that system to prevent and correct errors.

How Poka-yoke helps in Healthcare service providers?

Any kind of mistake people make can be reduced and even eliminated by the following six Poka-Yoke techniques:

  • Elimination – POKA-YOKE help for healthcare service:

First thing is to identify the activities which cause mistake and try to eliminate that step.

Think on that which activity can be eliminated?

For example, using common instrument for measuring weight of a patient. You can eliminate that common machine and use separate weighing machines for each department.

  • Replacement – POKA-YOKE help for healthcare service:

Human problems occur when standards of care, policies, processes, or procedures are not followed properly or efficiently. Some examples include poor documentation and labeling of specimens.

Can the activity be automated? Research on it.

You can replace machines instead of manual documentation process with the help of barcode reader, automatic letter scanner, etc.,

  • Prevention – POKA-YOKE help for healthcare service:

“The purpose for identifying medical errors is to prevent them, not shame people,” Dr. Ottaviani says.

Most medical mistakes go unreported. In order to develop safer health care, it’s necessary to analyze errors and understand what went wrong. Open discussion of medical errors will help everyone to learn. To prevent future medical errors, it’s imperative to ensure those that have already occurred are accurately reported.

Discus about what can the mistake be physically prevented?

  • Facilitation – POKA-YOKE help for healthcare service:

Inadequate staffing alone does not lead to medical errors but can put healthcare workers in situations where they are more likely to make a mistake. Simplification of reporting structure will help in proper communication.

Ensure on did the visual controls are utilized properly?

Facilitating visual controls like color coding, labels, lines, and signs also improves efficient working environment.

  • Detection – POKA-YOKE help for healthcare service:

Technical failures can include complications or failures with medical devices, implants, grafts, or pieces of equipment. Using device alarms and make sure that alarms on medical equipment are heard and checked quickly.

Question yourself like, how can the mistake be immediately detected?

  • Mitigation – POKA-YOKE help for healthcare service:

Finally minimize the effects at least which cannot be eliminate.

Discuss on how can the effect of the mistake be minimized?

For example, you cannot eliminate rays during CT and X-Ray diagnosis process. But you can mitigate by using personal protective equipment.

Conclusion – POKA-YOKE help for healthcare service:

There are number of tools and techniques in lean methodology which can easily implement in healthcare sector. We can see the tremendous development of quality by using lean tools and techniques. One main thing required is “consistency”. There should be a continuous practice on using lean tools like “Poka-Yoke”.

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