Why Six Sigma Will Work in Healthcare

If ever there were an industry where we want zero defects, it's healthcare. Patients, medical professionals, and healthcare administrators all want mistakes eliminated and quality and efficiency improved. Although most industries have undergone some type of data-supported, systematic, quality-improvement process, healthcare still has not. Medical and technological advances continue to outpace process and education adjustments. Demand and expectations for medical care are increasing. Inefficiency also leads to(causes, brings about, etc.) overcrowded emergency rooms, customer complaints, and lost revenues.

Six Sigma allows a healthcare organization to break through the status quo and achieve real process improvement. Although Six Sigma has its roots in manufacturing, it works just as effectively in a service industry such as healthcare. Healthcare organizations face unique challenges and it's no secret that they have a harder time applying quality improvement methods. Six Sigma's comprehensive approach means that its methodology can be successful in healthcare organizations with quick results.

In a healthcare organization, the critical factors in quality and efficiency are flow of information and interaction between people. Transforming the process of this flow yields quality results. Six Sigma achieves documented bottom-line strategic business results by initiating an organization-wide culture shift. Until a process focus?rather than a task focus?is developed, the scope and endurance of improvements will be limited. Analyzing and modifying human performance in these environments is complex, but Six Sigma provides the tools and methodology required to achieve significant long-term improvements.

The Six Sigma process is a large step toward creating a learning organization through its well-defined road maps and management structure. Six Sigma defines a vision for the future of the healthcare organization, and then it identifies specific goals and establishes quantitative measures to turn that vision into reality. A formal plan is established to identify the overall program goals and timeline that outline the move from current performance levels to Six Sigma performance levels, with tangible, short-term goals in between. Specific Six Sigma projects are identified and goals defined and tied to a tangible organizational performance measure. A wealth of possible Six Sigma projects within healthcare includes, for example, information flow, surgical site procedures, patient handling, and patient charge items. Any process in healthcare is a candidate for a Six Sigma project.

To successfully implement a Six Sigma program requires long-term vision, commitment, leadership, management, and training. What makes Six Sigma successful is well-chosen training and a commitment from the top that is communicated to all levels of the organization. Financially, the first set of projects usually justifies the entire cost of Six Sigma training. Focusing the Six Sigma tools on virtually any properly scoped project will drive savings to the bottom line and achieve breakthrough change in the healthcare organization.

Experienced healthcare quality management should learn the language of Six Sigma and help integrate new methods into the Six Sigma process to improve effectiveness. Six Sigma is a proven approach to reduce defects and waste, thus saving money. Six Sigma will help healthcare organizations just as it has industrial, service, retail, and financial organizations.

Peter Peterka is the Principal Six Sigma Consultant in practice areas of DMAIC and DFSS. Peter has over 15 years experience in including implementation of Six Sigma in Healthcare with a variety of organizations. For additional information please contact Peter Peterka at Six Sigma us.

In The News:

Opinion: How to simplify your strategic plan  Springfield Business Journal
Town Board discusses 2021 Strategic Plan  Estes Park Trail-Gazette

3 Undercover Ways to Make Big Profits from Your Competition

You have heard that there is extra money on the... Read More

Attributes of Companies You Dont Want to Buy!

There are no "rules of thumb" in the pursuit of... Read More

6 Changes You Can Make to Increase Business Profits

I read once that something like 30 percent of all... Read More

More Uses for Your Business Plan

You have invested a lot of time and energy on... Read More

The Top Five Reasons Strategic Plans Fail

"Most great plans aren't. They are just nice, high-level ideas."That's... Read More

Buying Used Detailing Equipment and Rainy Day Services

Mobile auto detailing equipment becomes very inexpensive around March each... Read More

Breaking the Growth Barriers in the Information Technology and Software Sector

There's nothing automatic about corporate growth, particularly in the information... Read More

Vision Getting Dim?

A recent conversation started with a typical question, "How's business?"... Read More

Pressure Washing Entrepreneurs Can Help With Government NPDES Permits

If you own a pressure washing business one of the... Read More

Have You Identified the Enemy?

One of the most powerful driving forces in human nature... Read More

How to Snuff Out the Competition Without Leaving a Mark

Does the competition drive you crazy?Are they relentless about taking... Read More

Resilience

I. INTRODUCTIONThe term resilience, which is of frequent use in... Read More

Your Business: Will It Have A Happy Ending?

"Begin with the end in mind," says Stephen Covey in... Read More

Family and Friends Referrals Make the Best Franchisees

As a franchisor it is imperative that you seek, find... Read More

Cost-cutting Essential to Maintaining Profits

Why cut costs now? Efforts are multiplying to cut costs... Read More

3 Ps of Planning - Prepare, Personalize, Pilot

Here's a really simple way to make sure your plans... Read More

Why Create an Annual Plan?

Can you imagine going on a road trip without knowing... Read More

The Tables Have Turned - Its Officially a Sellers Market

Private equity firms have raised so much capital over the... Read More

Online Promotion: 10 Ways To Use Focus Groups To Ignite Your Profits

A focus group is a group of employees or current... Read More

Akron OH; A great place to do business

When looking at Akron carefully one cannot help but notice... Read More

Corporate Contingency Planning

Part 1A few weeks ago I attended a seminar sponsored... Read More

Restaurant Startup - Part 1: Market Research ? What are Potential Competitors Doing?

The first step in starting a restaurant is proper planning.... Read More

Fail to plan... or Plan to FAIL??

Running a business, whether it be an offline multi-billion dollar... Read More

Leverage - A Small Step For You /A Big Change For Your Career

Cassy was an employee of a nonprofit who had been... Read More

A Backup To The Internet Is Vital & Now Cost Effective

It doesn't take a Terrorist Act, Tsunami or Earthquake to... Read More