The TWI method in healthcare: pioneering success
As part of a major improvement project within Interzorg, Elly van der Woude-Ubels (Manager Service at Interzorg) involved TWI company in standardizing processes within the facilities piece of the organization. A groundbreaking step, because the TWI method is primarily used in the food and manufacturing industries. And this step arose ‘simply’ at the dinner table at Elly’s home. Her son, who works at Johma, told her what the TWI approach was delivering there.
Een methode uit een andere wereldA method from another world
A healthcare organization requires a tight organization, especially if it consists of 9 nursing and care homes in North and Central Drenthe that together house and care for about 800 people. Following the conversation, Elly and a number of colleagues visited Johma. They wanted to see with their own eyes how TWI was successfully applied here. Despite the major differences between the food industry and healthcare, she saw the possibilities for Interzorg. Together with her colleague Wilma Tepper (facility manager) she stuck her neck out to make it happen.
Together they started the process with TWI company, which took a total of four years. The start-up in the first year, the roll-out to all locations in the second year, the preparation of the service center in the third year and the implementation within the new service center in the fourth year. Now all operations and familiarisation processes of housekeeping, laundry, kitchen and logistics are standardised and managed from one location.
An engagement boost within the housekeeping department
TWI company helped Interzorg by making cleaning important. The forewomen, who previously each had their own way of working, learned to describe tasks in a standardized way. For this they consulted a lot with colleagues from other locations and had to look critically at their own work. They got to know each other better and enjoyed their work more because their responsibility was increased. Involvement received an enormous boost, the induction processes were accelerated and management became much easier because they had more grip on the standardized procedures.
Quality enhancement at the service center
The third and fourth years of the improvement program meant an upgrade of the entire service center and standardization of procedures. Interzorg’s service center is where all support services come together: kitchen, laundry and logistics. 1000 meals per day and 600,000 kg of laundry per year. The kitchen staff now prepares all meals fresh using as many regional products as possible and the laundry is equipped with the most modern equipment and sustainable techniques.
The piece TWI is responsible for: one working method per task and implementing the standardized familiarisation method. Here too, onboarding became faster and easier, collaborations improved and involvement increased. And the most important result: the quality of the work, whether it be cleaning, meals or laundry, reaches the highest level every day.
A world to be won
Now that the entire organization is in place, Interzorg is taking this new way of working into its own hands. A coordinator has been appointed for 20 hours a week to secure and further develop the new working method. Sustainable employability of employees is another major advantage of the project. Partly for this reason, there is still a world to be won in healthcare in terms of standardization. Elly hopes that this success story, of which TWI was allowed to be a part, will contribute to the creation of more support in healthcare processes as well.