The Safe Zone is an exciting LEAN project that started in the Med/Surg department on June 1. The Safe Zone initiative was developed to increase our patient interaction and decrease the unnecessary use of personal protective equipment, while still keeping our patients and staff safe. The Safe Zone will only be utilized for patients that have received a diagnosis which requires contact isolation precautions, i.e. MRSA, C. Difficile.
The Safe Zone is a 6 foot box, marked with yellow tape, within the threshold of the doorway to a patient’s room. Once the Safe Zone has been established, hospital personnel may walk into the room as far as the yellow taped area to assess and talk to the patient and families without donning gown and gloves. Permitting the hospital staff to enter the patient’s room up to the six foot marking increases our response time to the patients’ needs and assists in communication as well.
This project will save valuable staff time, as patient encounters from the Safe Zone will not require the extra time necessary to apply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Not only will this project save time, but it will also save money. In 2015 alone, the Med/Surg department spent over $22,000 on PPE for isolation rooms. It is anticipated that the use of the Safe Zone will decrease PPE usage and spending by half, which could mean a savings of $10,000.
We are excited to implement this project and to see how great our savings are in the year ahead!