A Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital is currently experiencing a
number of issues surrounding wheelchair usage, including an
inadequate method for managing wheelchair flow processes for both
inpatients and outpatients, a lack of immediate availability of
wheelchairs to meet demand, the absence of adequate internal
controls to deter wheelchair theft, and no internal staff members or
system in place to track wheelchair usage. A list of activities in the
current process is provided in
Activity Average Time
Patient parks in parking lot/valet parks 4
Patient enters building 8
Patient locates wheelchair 8
Patient proceeds to site of appointment 10
Patient receives treatment 60
Patient leaves building 10
Wheelchair left in parking lot 120
Grounds crew inspects lot for wheelchairs 30
Grounds crew loads wheelchairs 3
Grounds crew returns wheelchairs to
Total time 283
. To evaluate the current wheelchair process model for unnecessary
delays, bottlenecks, and process steps, create a flow process
chart for the flow of wheelchairs at the VA hospital.
After reviewing the current wheelchair process, an operations
analyst has proposed a sign-in system at the facility’s entrance to
help manage wheelchair flow. In the proposed model, instead of
the patient locating a wheelchair, he or she would proceed to the
front entrance and sign out a wheelchair (this step is estimated to
take two minutes). Next, the patient would proceed to the site of
the appointment. Once the appointment is completed, the patient
returns to the front entrance (ten minutes). The patient is then
wheeled to the car by the valet (eight minutes). The valet then
returns the wheelchair to the front entrance (eight minutes), and
then a volunteer records receipt of the wheelchair (one minute).
Create a revised flow process chart that reflects implementation of
the proposed sign-in process.
. What is the expected reduction in lead time with the
implementation of the sign-in process?
. Do you have any concerns about the proposed sign-in process? If
so, outline any potential delays or bottlenecks that may be of
concern for this solution.