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Jean Cunningham

Jean Cunningham: Poka Yoke in an administrative process

By Jean Cunningham, - Last updated: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a comment

After introducing the concept of Jidoka, specifically the element of poke

yoke or mistake proofing, a kaizen team came up the following improvement:

At the hospital, when an employee goes on worker’s compensation, their pay

is no longer via payroll system, but though worker’s compensation insurance

provider. However, the supervisors, who did not have experience with this

very often (thank goodness!) where unclear about whether they should put the

employees’ hours in the payroll system as sick time, or as unworked time.

Previously this problem was supposed to be avoided based on education; but

that wasn’t working well. Education of rules rarely works when you have to

apply the rules infrequently.

With the concept of poke yoke, and with a good cross functional team

including IT analyst, the insurance provider, the risk manager, payroll

clerk and a supervisor, they were able to apply a code to an employees’ name

as soon as the earliest indicator that an employee was on worker’s comp that

disabled the ability for a supervisor to enter hours for that employee.

For years there had been double payments, as well as inconsistency, rework,

and confusion which was immediately eliminated.

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