North Shore Physicians' Group, Urgent Care Center

Danvers, MA | 2013

The development of this urgent care center gave the North Shore Physician Group an ideal opportunity to reinvent the way they deliver care. Working with a facilitator from the Virginia Mason Institute, stakeholders and the Shepley Bulfinch design team utilized Lean process improvement tools to optimize the patient experience by improving operations and reducing waste.

The layout of the center is designed to bring care to the patient, reducing waiting areas and time by reorganizing the triage process and shifting registration to one of eight exam rooms. Patient and medical staff circulation is separated, with two entrances to each exam room. A ninth "flex room" handles less common urgent care cases so that they do not adversely affect schedules for the other rooms. Staff work areas along the back of the Center are designed for team collaboration and flexibility.

The team applied 5S principles to identify and eliminate waste in current processes by sorting, simplifying, sweeping, and standardizing work flow; and to establish practices that sustain new efficiencies in ways that engage and invest all participants in the project's success.

Applying Lean principles to the Urgent Care Center's operations ultimately reduced the length of a patient visit by 25% while increasing value-added time for patients and staff by 60%. Leaning the planning and design process with 3P also shaved six weeks off the project schedule.

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Case study: the value of Lean in project delivery


  • Square Footage: 4,300 s.f.

Shepley Bulfinch Team

Jennifer Aliber
Gerard Georges
Cathy Lange
Lauren Deck

©2017 Shepley Bulfinch