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Eliminate Administrative Time

Food Inspection Administrative Processes

Tazewell County Health Department and Pam Vecellio, from Continual Impact LLC, led a Kaizen event to dramatically improve the administrative time and material costs related to food establishment inspections.  In the first month, they achieved an 80+% reduction in time and 99% in materials.

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There is more time spent on the administration pieces of the food inspection process than necessary within the food program.  With approximately 727 restaurants to inspect which entails 1500+ inspections per year and limited resources we need to make the process as efficient as it can possibly be.  The strategic plan sought improvement to maximize resources and improve leveraging of technology.

Approach / Methods

  1. Established improvement goal
  2. Mapped out the process Value Stream and Sub Process Map
  3. Collected time and waste data
  4. Conducted Kaizen event (5 days)
    1. Understand the current work processes (process maps & Going to the Gemba)
    2. Identified, analyzed wastes, and prioritized improvement focus
    3. Root caused high priority wastes
    4. Identified and prioritized solutions
    5. Developed and tested solutions; learned lessons from tests; developed standardized work and training material
    6. Trained all food inspection team members
    7. Immediately Installed solutions
    8. Established continual improvement system for measure tracking and team feedback.

Solutioninsp-ss-2

The process redesigned by the team reduced all the administrative inspection tasks.  The inspection schedule is semi-automated and emailed to each inspector.  Inspectors can prepare for the inspection within the on-line system, Garrison.  Standardized work was created to streamline reporting and the HACCP checklist.  Hand held tablets were purchased to allow inspectors to complete the inspection report during the inspection.  The tablets are on-line, allowing the e-mail and e-signing inspection reports.  Functionality in the Garrison program were improved to allow for more efficient and accurate report completion.  On-site and office printing was eliminated.  Repeat critical inspections process was automated.

Results

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Feedback

“It is nice to see how proud people are and how they own these improvements and new process,” Kaizen Event Leader

“Kaizen shocked us, we thought that we were going to spend a week to remove 10 minutes…instead we identified how to remove 190 minutes.” Process Owner

“I couldn’t have done standardization without Kaizen” Process Owner

To read more, this project summary can be found on the Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange site: Tazewell County Health Department Food Inspection Process