Lean Six Sigma in Healthcare centers the primary focus on the patients. It aims to deliver the maximum value to patients along with reducing costs by continuously improving processes – a win-win situation for both healthcare organizations and those the most important to them, their patients and families.
What Is Lean Six Sigma?
Lean Six Sigma is a potent mix of two popular process improvement methodologies: Lean and Six Sigma.
Lean is a method of streamlining a process, resulting in increased revenue, reduced costs and improved customer satisfaction. A Lean process accomplishes this by developing a process that is faster, more efficient and economical, and delivers satisfactory service to a patient. Lean originated with both Henry Ford and his storied assembly line and, more famously, with Taiichi Ohno who codified the Lean Management Philosophy and Practices into the Toyota Production System.
Six Sigma is a method of solving a problem more effectively. Utilizing Six Sigma reduces the amount of services provided, resulting in increased revenue and greater customer satisfaction. Six Sigma originated at Motorola in 1986 and since then has saved organizations billions of dollars in virtually every industry.
Lean and Six Sigma complement each other. Lean accelerates Six Sigma, delivering greater results than what would typically be achieved by Lean or Six Sigma individually.
What Can Lean Six Sigma Improve In Healthcare Organizations?
Lean Six Sigma aims to increase revenue, reduce costs and improve collaboration. With these ideals in mind, the areas of improvement within healthcare organization that can be seen using Lean Six Sigma are virtually endless.
From the most commonly addressed issues like solving problems such as reducing the amount of errors on patient records, prescriptions or delivery of services, to areas less commonly thought of such as improving culture and leadership, the breadth of utility that Lean Six Sigma provides when implemented properly are why it has been so successful in helping build thriving organizations.
Lean Six Sigma Is Patient-Centered
Today’s difficult economic times have prompted many healthcare organizations to take a closer look at their processes and are finding them to be quite inefficient and wasteful. What they’re finding often causes panic, resulting in temporary fixes based on assumptions, not facts and data, which escalate into larger problems down the road.
The most important and common goal of the entirety of these process improvement efforts it to deliver great service to patients and their families.
Lean Six Sigma helps avoid these potentially more difficult to solve problems by setting forth an action plan based on facts and data, rather than silo’d opinions. It is important to note however, that while goals like reducing errors and building a great culture are important, the most important and common goal of the entirety of these process improvement efforts it to deliver great service to patients and their families
This shared vision of being Patient-Centered is at the core of Lean Six Sigma. All of the concepts and tools used in Lean Six Sigma are focused on the end result of satisfying patient needs.
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