South Florida Hospital News
Sunday August 25, 2019

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February 2009 - Volume 5 - Issue 8





5S is a simple tool that helps create and maintain a clean and organized high performance environment that easily distinguishes from common and uncommon conditions in order to reduce defects, costs and maintain a safe work environment.

Sort – items should be organized to be easily accessible when needed. Unnecessary items should be eliminated. A way to identify if items are properly sorted is to draw a Point-to-Point (spaghetti) Diagram. A point-to-point diagram is a layout of the workplace/process where the product is tracked for each movement/step conducted. Each of the movements/steps is mapped using arrows. The diagram graphically displays the complexity, or number of steps/moves, needed to complete the process. It also serves as a reference to restructure the pieces/items needed to conduct the process more efficiently. The process in Figure 1, is completed by moving between locations multiple times. There are a total of 35 moves completed to achieve the overall outcome. In a case like this, determine if all the indicated moves are needed, or if they can be reduced/eliminated.

Figure 1
Following are examples of things to sort/eliminate: outdated, broken, defective, excessive, or simply unneeded items.

Tagging is another known form of sorting. In a tagging exercise, you tag/mark all unneeded or unutilized items. After assessing all items, you place tagged items in a holding area. After a few days (no more than seven), items in holding area are reassessed, and items deemed as unnecessary are thrown away.

"When in doubt, move it out"

Figure 2
Step 1: Tag unneeded items. See Figure 2.

**As a rule of thumb: If you have not used it in a year and don’t need it for legal reasons, tag it.**

Step 2: Separate tagged and untagged items

Step 3: Sort through tagged items – after 5 to 7 days

Step 4: If tagged items are deemed unnecessary, dispose of it.

Step 4: Organize and clean remaining. See Figure 3.

Set in Order (Simplify) – rearrange and properly label the remaining items so that anyone can easily find it. When you are setting items in order, design the new layout to minimize walking, bending, zigzagging, or any form of unnecessary movement.

Figure 3
Shine – design a maintenance schedule and structure to ensure safety and cleanliness. This includes maintaining traffic areas clear, machine/equipment maintenance schedule, properly storing hazardous items, devising protocol for spills, trash pick-up or any general messes. In a shine assignment, devise and communicate to employees in order to assign responsibility and accountability as a shared exercise among all employees of the respective areas.

Standardize – devise a plan for maintaining the flow and work environment with the sort, set in order and shine conditions. Be sure to communicate this plan to all employees and set a systematic structure to share the responsibility of maintaining the desired condition(s). This is a plan to make the improved process a way of life.

Sustain – establish a vehicle in which to measure that the above conditions or tasks are completed/maintained. Then, stipulate proper action plan in the event protocols are violated. You can do this through schedules and/or scorecards that track the day-to-day outcomes.

Deisell M. Diaz, Partner, DEIVIN, can be reached at
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