During initial phases, a key step involves scoping a project into manageable and measurable segments.
For instance, a large-scale effort to improve the emergency department may break down into several smaller projects targeting specific areas such as admissions, charting, equipment availability and patients leaving without being seen (LWBS).
Other quality initiatives, such as TQM (Total Quality Management) or CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement) also involve the use of statistics and data collection.
Since people feel variability more than averages, Six Sigma focuses first on reducing process variation and then on improving the capability of that process.
Such shortcomings must be addressed to achieve system-wide clinical quality improvement.
Case Study In Six Sigma Methodology Manufacturing Quality Improvement And Guidance For Managers
Medical error reporting: Given a litigious and punitive climate, providers are understandably hesitant to report medical errors.
A logical healthcare example can be found in patient wait time.
If a patient waits to be seen by the doctor five minutes one time and 50 minutes the next, they won’t base their satisfaction level on the average of the two wait times, but the impact of the wide variability and corollary unpredictability of the process.
Appropriately implemented, Six Sigma clearly produces benefits in terms of better operational efficiency, cost effectiveness and higher process quality.