How Six Sigma is Changing Healthcare

six sigma healthcare

Six Sigma continues to improve the healthcare system. More than ever, hospitals recognize the importance of implementing a Six Sigma program. These programs have resulted in significant quality improvements and cost savings. Of course, the best results in healthcare have been increases in patient satisfaction. The issue is that when implementing Six Sigma programs in the healthcare environment, organisations struggle to strike a balance between quality, safety, and experience.

Putting a face to the numbers helps to put things into perspective. Healthcare professionals and Six Sigma professionals are working together to find the balance that is so desperately needed for quality care to be delivered. Healthcare professionals are beginning to understand and embrace Six Sigma methods by facilitating change across organisations that are typically entrenched in their respective silos. Six Sigma professionals recognise the significance of patient safety and providing exceptional care. Understanding that there are opposing points of view, both Six Sigma and healthcare professionals are finding harmony and balance in day-to-day operations, along with long-term strategies.

At the end of the day, Six Sigma and healthcare professionals are providing a service that provides the highest level of quality patient care, along with significant cost savings and operational efficiencies.

How Lean Six Sigma Can Help 

DMAIC: First use the Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control template, with the goal to improve the patient experience at the doctor’s office. 

VSM –  The Value Stream Map is a Lean Six Sigma tool that allows you to see the entire process, from beginning to end. This is a great way to spot any areas of waste or errors. The value stream map also helps in the flow of information that is needed to produce a product or service.

Root Cause Analysis – This is an extremely important step for continuous improvement. One of the tools associated with this process is the Ishikawa Diagram, or Cause and Effect diagram, which can be used after the 5 Whys tool. Remember, many times there is more than one reason for a problem, so a single root cause is not always the case.

Find out more about Six Sigma and healthcare initiatives at We are the perfect partner for healthcare providers seeking to implement Six Sigma programs or requiring consulting expertise within their existing programs.

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