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A Guide to Lean Six Sigma and Healthcare

Improving patient safety is the main focus in healthcare.

There is a growing pressure on healthcare to increase the efficiency of care delivery. Quality improvement initiatives are coming up with solutions. These promise to boost the outcomes of performance by helping organizations meet expectations and deliver quality services.

Many quality improvement programs have been done over the years. These programs include total quality management, continuous quality improvement, business process reengineering, and benchmarking. However, these programs have not delivered improved value to the patient. This is why lean six sigma stands out from the crowd.

Six sigma got its roots from manufacturing. Applying this to the healthcare industry enabled them to streamline their processes and reduce waste.

Applying lean six sigma principle to an organization is the same as diagnosing and treating a medical condition. Frontline workers should deal with issues because they are close to and understand the problems.

In healthcare, it is not the senior management that makes the decisions, but the nurses, doctors, and technicians who are tasked with solving key issues.

Using lean six sigma has many benefits. The prevention of medical errors, reduction of mortality rates, decrease in time spent in hospital, improvement in patient care, and boosting of quality are the benefits of lean six sigma.

These principles are also used to help reduce departmental sales, deliver better safety, and streamline practices. With this, healthcare costs are reduced each year. Life and death depends on these processes.

Healthcare is increasingly adopting lean six sigma for the past ten years. However, not every part of the industry is utilizing it especially in the areas of triage and post-surgery.

If one uses the lean six sigma methodology, the problems of departmental silos and unreliable data can be tackled. It also helps boost the revenue cycle. There has seen an increase in patient collections and company savings.

Using lean six sigma also helps complete improvement projects, save millions, and transform its excellence performance culture.

If healthcare managers want to make a difference in their organization, they need to know what they want to achieve. The current situation in the organization need to be understood, and the issues to be tackled need to be identified.

If there is communication and fostering a culture that embraces change then there is likely to be more success. This change can be driven by six sigma. Six sigma gives you an instant process of handling conflict, a methodology to test experiments, and the idea that data drive everything.

If lean principles are combined with machine learning and predictive analytics, then there will be dramatic improvements in operations efficiency. But organizations first need access to the knowledge and expertise of six sigma.

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