Introduction: The 5S methodology is a quality improvement tool comprising five “S” components in successive steps: sort, simplify or set-in-order, sweep or shine, standardize, and selfâ?Âdiscipline or sustain. We utilized the 5S methodology as a quality improvement tool in medication storage at a primary health care centre in a remote community in Canada.
Method: Unrequired items were cleaned out of the entire pharmacy room – sort. Medications were set- in-order by identifying their class and grouping them according to medication classes – simplify. Missing essential medicines were ordered and replaced - sweep or shine. According to the medication classes, the remaining (unmoved) essential medications were arranged on the drug cabinet – standardize Usage instructions were shared with all clinical staff via email - self-discipline.
Results: The 5S methodology was impactful as the new medication storage method improved storage quality, limited medication spoilage and ensured appropriate tracking of medications’ expiration dates.
Conclusion: Our intervention has employed the use of Lean methodologies toward the goal of quality improvement. This project illustrates how applying these principles offers opportunities for simplification, efficiency, and substantial waste reduction in remote health care settings.
Joshua Eyitemi, Britanie Thomas, Yazmin Ramos, Adebolanle Ayinde,Chiamaka Ezekwesili, Olusola Bankole