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Laura Silvoy

I am a Healthcare Systems Engineer with a passion for improvement. Using simulation and other process improvement tools, I strive to create a better patient experience by combining efficient work flows with effective spatial planning. The process is only as good as the space that contains it. Continuously advancing our own productivity and design culture is also a top priority and I am always looking for ways to improve the ways we deliver results to our customers. For more thoughts on lean, follow me on Array Advisors’ blog.
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Recent Posts

Patients Don't Like Waiting-Reducing Arrival Batch Decreases Wait Time

Posted by Laura Silvoy on Jan 06, 2016 at 12:33 PM

 

ABSTRACT

An infusion center is interested in seeing if smaller arrival groups can decrease patient waiting time. Array developed a simulation model to study this concept. Two types of patients, each with different hook up durations, are modeled. In each scenario, 20 patients are hooked up for dialysis treatment. For each patient, the length of time from arrival to the start of hook up was measured. This will be called “wait time.” The first scenario – “batch” – demonstrates what happens to waiting time when all 20 patients arrive at the treatment center at once. The second scenario– “stagger”– demonstrates the effect on waiting time when patients arrive in smaller groups of five, every 10 minutes. You can see the differences in the systems and the results side-by-side in the following video.


 

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Topics: simulation, vlog, healthcare process improvement, wait time

Lean Coffee Group Started in Philadelphia

Posted by Laura Silvoy on Oct 13, 2015 at 10:46 AM

A lean coffee is an agenda-less meeting, where people come to discuss topics related to lean and process improvement. I geared my lean coffee toward healthcare professionals who might be currently implementing lean or trying to learn more about process improvement. Follow me on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn for information on upcoming Philadelphia Lean Coffee events.

Click here to register for lean coffee philly

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Topics: lean, philadelphia, continuous improvement

Bringing 5S to the Office

Posted by Laura Silvoy on Oct 01, 2015 at 8:00 AM

5S is a lean tool typically implemented in the manufacturing environment. So, how can an architecture firm use this lean tool in the office environment? First, let me explain what 5S is exactly and why we would want to use it in the first place.

The 5S philosophy, the goal of which is to develop a standard format, allowing for the easy detection of anomalies while minimizing motion, got its name from five tasks that lead to a more organized, standardized and disciplined workplace. In Japanese, each task begins with “S” and translates to an English word that also begins with “S.” Training typically presents it as a lean tool that is merely a way to keep an area tidy, but it's so much more than tapelines and shadow boards.

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Topics: lean, continuous improvement, 5S

KaiNexus: Improving How We Improve

Posted by Laura Silvoy on Aug 04, 2015 at 11:10 AM

Our improvement journey began about two years ago. As we became more serious about the level of employee engagement with our improvement initiatives, we started searching for an easy-to-use platform for submitting and tracking improvement ideas. KaiNexus provided both features in a simple program, developed by a team willing to work with us to improve and customize the software they were selling. Like many improvement professionals, we were expecting to receive “just do it” improvement ideas from staff that could be used as a vehicle for lean training and improvement culture development. Instead, the first ideas were over-arching problems that did not fit nicely into the model of the OI (opportunity for improvement) that KaiNexus was built on.

It has been one year since we received those first ideas and we managed to attack both the large and small problems. We recently finished our first real “just do it” improvement and we’re excited to blog about it!

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Topics: process improvement, KaiNexus

Simulation in Healthcare Architecture Series #3

Posted by Laura Silvoy on Mar 03, 2015 at 8:00 AM

What is the architect’s role in simulation?

My two most recent blogs in this series explored the benefits of simulation and three critical components of simulation modeling. This post makes the connection between simulation and healthcare architecture.

Recall that simulation can address process changes, space configurations and staffing levels in healthcare facilities. When resources become overloaded due to growth in physician practices or service lines, these problems may surface as a desire for more useable space. An architect that utilizes simulation modeling at the beginning of the design process brings a powerful tool to the table before a floor plan is conceived.

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Topics: Discrete Event Simulation, healthcare planning, data driven design, our approach

Simulation in Healthcare: Provide Higher Quality, Cost Effective Care

Posted by Laura Silvoy on Feb 23, 2015 at 4:09 PM

An urban pediatric hospital on the east coast of the United States serves thousands of patients daily. Recently, in its continuous effort to improve the quality of service, this pediatric care facility hired Array Architects to help design a new clinical space. This new space was expected to house three existing clinics currently operating in three separate parts of the building. When facilities face this situation, they sometimes determine their new space needs by adding together the current number of exam rooms, staff and other resources utilized by each clinic separately. The resulting space plan may be oversized, supported by little or no data. Lacking data, the space needs cannot be validated, resulting in unnecessary capital expenditure.
 
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Topics: simulation modeling, facility planning, Array, Discrete Event Simulation

Simulation in Healthcare Architecture Series #2

Posted by Laura Silvoy on Feb 05, 2015 at 9:50 AM

What do you need for a high-quality simulation model?

In my previous post, “What can simulation do for your health system?” I highlighted some of the merits of performing discrete event simulations. This second installment brings to light what I believe are the main components necessary to develop a high-quality simulation.

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Topics: Discrete Event Simulation, healthcare planning

Simulation in Healthcare Architecture Series #1

Posted by Laura Silvoy on Jan 20, 2015 at 3:32 PM

Recently featured in the Society for Health Systems' March 2015 Newsletter.

What can simulation do for your health system?

Discrete event simulation is a powerful analysis tool that allows users to test different options with real data before a decision is made. While simulation can benefit various industries, this post focuses on the specific advantages of using it in healthcare facilities. Health systems can use simulation to answer questions about changes to processes, configurations or staffing levels. Without the aid of simulation, facilities often never make these changes because it would be too costly to reorder process steps or test new configurations.

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Topics: Discrete Event Simulation, healthcare planning

The Ever-Changing Huddle

Posted by Laura Silvoy on Nov 06, 2014 at 10:36 AM

When Array first implemented a daily huddle about six months ago, there were no indications that it would evolve as much as it has. In the beginning, the daily huddle involved the design staff who work on architectural projects and focused on evaluating daily metrics related to our balanced scorecard.

Today, the entire office meets for a huddle twice a week and individual project teams huddle three times a week. Here’s a look at the history of huddles at Array.

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Topics: continuous improvement, huddle

Using PDSA to Design an Improved Process

Posted by Laura Silvoy on Sep 23, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Every day at Array we strive to improve our delivery process so our customers can receive the best quality product we can produce. Plan-Do-Study-Adjust (PDSA) is a process improvement tool that aids in the creation of better processes. Using Karen Martin’s clarified version of the PDSA found in The Outstanding Organization, employees at Array are tackling problems, determining root causes, developing solutions and periodically reviewing the outcomes to ensure that these issues do not surface again. Here is Array’s take on these four steps:

 

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Topics: process improvement, PDSA