3rd Annual Summit Six Sigma for the Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sector
In June, an iSixSigma reporter visited Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle to see how the the hospital’s process improvement program is helping to shape the patient experience.
McKesson Corp., a healthcare services company, topped iSixSigma's 2008 Best Places to Work list. This profile, originally published in iSixSigma Magazine, illustrates how McKesson's improvement program makes satisfied customers and employees.
Despite already having adopted many best practices, LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City discovered a problem in the rapid treatment of pain in the emergency department. The staff immediately began a pain management initiative to remedy the problem.
A Six Sigma cardiac medication project was successful in coordinating high-quality care, incorporating advanced technologies, and adopting best practice standards.
Aethon, a developer of 21st century robotic delivery solutions for hospitals, today announced the appointment of Kevin Newton as vice president of operations and quality assurance. In this role Newton will lead the company’s manufacturing, purchasing and quality improvement initiatives as well as assist in new product development.
Effectively translating a healthcare organization's corporate vision or mission statement into specific metrics is crucial to creating organizational alignment and driving performance across the entire enterprise.
Analogic Corporation, a leading provider of medical imaging and aviation security technology, announced today that the Company has received a $100,000 grant from the Massachusetts Division of Career Services (DCS) Workforce Training Fund. Analogic will use the funds to support a Lean Six Sigma training program to improve the Company’s productivity and reduce costs.
Process improvement deployment expert and healthcare industry veteran Angel R. Garcia, of Edwards Life Sciences, will deliver a keynote address at the iSixSigma Live! Summit & Awards. The event takes place next week, Feb. 7-10, in Miami, Florida.
Despite advances in imaging technologies, the benefits may not be fully realized if process problems, patient backlogs or other concerns disrupt imaging operations.
With the demand for surgical services growing rapidly, especially with ambulatory and cosmetic procedures, hospitals are finding that Six Sigma is a useful tool.
A Master Black Belt (MBB) has been trained as a Six Sigma Black Belt and demonstrated proficiency in statistical tools and expertise in leading and teaching others. Within the healthcare organization, the MBB trains Black Belts and Green Belts, helping to select, scope and mentor projects. This article identifies the specific role and tasks of a healthcare Master Black Belt, as well as the required skills, desires, and behaviors. The new MBB leaders in healthcare will be the designers of healthcare's future when it comes to performance improvement, safety, quality, financial impact, operational process improvement, clinical and satisfaction metrics.
Validation of every material and piece of manufacturing equipment in the biopharmaceutical industry is an expensive and time-consuming process, costing drug companies and contract manufacturers millions of dollars and delaying time-to-market for a new medication. To reduce the impact of this challenge, manufacturers have moved toward the use of disposable manufacturing equipment — bioreactors, chromatography columns, hold bags for storage, etc.
The Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC), a hospital based in Salisbury, Md., USA, has promoted Six Sigma Black Belt Steve Leonard to the position of vice president of operations, optimization and innovation.
Health insurance provider HealthAmerica has hired certified Black Belt Dawn Milstead as its new vice president of health services. She will work out of the company’s office in Harrisburg, Pa., USA.
Covidien’s Operational Excellence competition recognizes employee efforts to accelerate improvements and drive down costs.
A group of healthcare leaders from Saskatchewan, Canada, recently visited the United States to tour hospitals in Washington state and learn about the successful deployment of the Lean Six Sigma methodology to improve efficiency.
Leading Regional Hospital chosen to share findings and results on innovative approach to engaging employees in Lean improvement at American College of Healthcare Executives Annual Congress in Chicago.
In this case study, one large insurance company executed a Lean Six Sigma project to cut operational costs for property and casualty (P&C) insurance claims and improve customer satisfaction.
Cetero Research, a clinical pharmacology research organization, has hired James “Jay” Dixon as its new senior vice president, quality and compliance.
CHARTrunner Solves Hospital’s Daunting Data Task
After being compelled to reset a project several times because of a major upheaval in the emergency department, a Black Belt team leader decided to schedule a Kaizen event and the team delivered ED improvements in three areas in only four days.
Multi-million dollar savings are generated by 'beating heart' or 'off-pump' coronary artery bypass outcomes.
A chain of medical diagnostic clinics was developed from the ground up. After two years of hectic expansion marked by acquisitions and setting up green field clinics across a number of cities, the chain wanted to improve the turnaround time of patients and customer service.
Almost all organizations identify customer satisfaction as an area for improvement and as key to business success. In this installment of a three-part case study in creating customer delight, a medical diagnostic center tackles patient problems identified through observation and feedback.
In the final installment of this three-part case study, a medical diagnostic clinic reduces the turnaround time of lab reports, improving cycle time for 90 percent of blood tests and increasing customer satisfaction.
A lack of buy-in is most common in organizations that are new to Six Sigma. How can practitioners sell Six Sigma? It is simple – by setting up a demonstration case of successful use. This approach emphasizes the “seeing is believing” mode of selling.
A biomedical equipment provider used Six Sigma to better detect potential errors and prevent them from occurring.
Evidence from other hospital initiatives convinces health system CEO to bring change management techniques to Alaska's Providence Health System and use Six Sigma methods and tools to support the system's efforts to achieve operational excellence.
Hospitals, health systems to benefit from The Quality Group’s Six Sigma and other performance management solutions
The success of any change is enhanced by building a culture of alignment, accountability and acceptance. This is evident in the implementation and deployment of Six Sigma at Virtua Health, a comprehensive healthcare system consisting of four hospitals and headquartered in Marlton, NJ, USA.
One of the most significant benefits of Six Sigma is also one of the most difficult to quantify It is the "people value" – that is, the positive effect that an implementation can have on a company's culture and on the development of leaders.
Parrish Medical Center, a 210-bed community hospital in Titusville, Fla., has reduced mortality by 30.8 percent using the Clinical Xpert™ CareFocus solution from Thomson Reuters.That equates to more than 60 lives saved annually.
As a tool embedded within Six Sigma methodology, FMEA can help eliminate concerns early in the development of a process. It can be used to systematically examine possible process failure, then to redesign to eliminate the possibility of failure.
High job satisfaction produces employees who work harder, smarter and have better relations with customers. Healthcare clients are pleased with exceptional care and positive interactions with employees. And that can mean a better bottom line.
GE Healthcare And Virtua Health Collaborate To Redefine 21st Century Patient Care Delivery
GE Medical Systems and eProject Announce Global Distribution Partnership.
The Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has promoted Six Sigma Black Belt Zachary Reed to the position of director of neurosciences.
Support services staff at Heartland Health used Lean Six Sigma to devise a system to better track assets so that caregivers would have more time with patients.
Healthcare Forum to Reveal How to Harness the Power of Six Sigma to Improve Patient Care and Reduce Costs
In order to increase organization and efficiency at hospitals, administrators should employ management tools such as the Toyota Production System, said healthcare futurist Joe Flower, who works with clients ranging from World Health Organization to Global Business Network.
A panel of healthcare executives recently shared their views that leaders must take an active and visible role in their organization’s quality initiatives. They also agreed on the need for organizations to develop the right management systems.
A recent project conducted by eight hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers in the United States, along with the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, has implemented methods such as Lean Six Sigma and change management to address the issue of wrong site surgeries.
There is general consensus that healthcare is not as safe and reliable as it should be. Professionals are seeking high reliability in healthcare.
As hospitals consolidate resources regionally, a big challenge takes shape: handling the information necessary to manage cash flow efficiently.
North Shore University Hospital initiated a Six Sigma project aimed at improving the patient experience by reducing wait times in its Emergency Department.
Six Sigma practitioners, because of their knowledge of statistical analysis and their belief in continuous improvement, are at a particular advantage for using this health data to make positive life changes.
A Six Sigma team at the Hurley Medical Center’s Family Ambulatory Health Center worked to better coordinate patient flow without decreasing time with physicians.
When Providence Alaska Medical Center discovered it was above the 75th percentile of the national average in labor costs, it began a Six Sigma project to improve its process for scheduling staff. The result was a culture change and lower costs.
One focal area increasingly targeted for performance improvement in healthcare organizations has been the cardiac cath lab.
Strategically blending the best elements of Six Sigma, Lean and Work-out is proving to be an effective approach for increasing productivity and optimizing performance in healthcare. Account for the special nature of patient care delivery and the complex environment within any healthcare organization.
Former ThedaCare CEO and president Dr. John Toussaint thinks lean can cure healthcare. He's prescribing Lean to change the culture in healthcare - from shame and blame to using data to make decisions.
Jan De Witte, president and CEO of GE Healthcare’s Performance Solutions division, has taken on the additional title of president and CEO of GE’s $1.4 billion Healthcare IT division. He succeeds Vishal Wanchoo, who has moved into the role of senior vice president of growth initiatives for GE India.
The Joint Commission has announced that Alex Vandiver has been appointed as director of business excellence. He will also serve as director of the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, which aims to solve health care’s most critical safety and quality problems.
With many issues facing the U.S. healthcare system the task of "fixing" it seems insurmountable, but the appropriate implementation of Six Sigma and Lean methods can create a clear path for solutions that will impact the cost and quality of care.
Until relatively recently, many quality professionals considered the term “Lean” to only be applicable to the manufacturing giants of industry. Lean, first created as a part of the Toyota Production System, is an operational approach and methodology embraced by world-class…
Despite the common allegation that Lean improvement methods must lead to layoffs at healthcare systems, the reality is quite different at several leading hospitals, where Lean methods are actually saving or creating jobs.
Many of the nation’s most innovative clinical laboratories, pathology groups and in-vitro diagnostics manufacturers came together recently at the Fourth Annual Lab Quality Confab in San Antonio to share their successes in the use of Lean Six Sigma and similar process improvement techniques.
A New England-based healthcare system is proving Lean Six Sigma tools are not just for manufacturing companies after realizing substantial cost savings in a nearly two-year implementation process.
Will Lean practices take root within an organization and lead to transformational change? That depends on the organization's culture and the role that leadership plays. A signicant aspect of the company culture should be a bottom-up paradigm.
This article documents a Six Sigma project to reduce the time between when a discharge order is written for a patient and when that hospital bed becomes available again.
Healthcare leaders are recognizing the need for culture change within their organizations. Moving from recognition to reality, however, is more difficult. The problem lies in the perception – or misperception – of what culture change actually entails.
If you didn’t have the ability to attend an iSixSigma Live! event in person during the first half of 2011 (and given the content at these world-class conferences, you really should have been there), you still have the chance to…
Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, in Hinsdale, Ill., USA, has appointed Master Black Belt Steve Brown as director of operational excellence, a new position that will focus on improving processes and operations.
Health Enhancement Products Inc., a manufacturer of health and wellness products in Scottsdale, Ariz., USA, has hired Troy Davis to fill the newly created position of operations manager.
This case study is an example of a Six Sigma breakthrough improvement in a Medical Transcription company in India.
The challenges confronting healthcare are complex, but combining Six Sigma with the balanced scorecard may be the best way to reach and sustain a new level of organizational excellence.
This visualization tool can enable practitioners to make sense of large volumes of interconnected data and fast-track implementation of Lean Six Sigma.
Recent news from Lean Six Sigma use in healthcare includes the release of a new book detailing UCLA Health System’s path to operational excellence and the appointment of a Black Belt to a leadership role within a health insurance organization.
North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System Gaining Ground Through Partnership With GE Healthcare
At Two-Year Mark, Achievements are Multiplying Across the Enterprise
The outpatient imaging center decided to use the Six Sigma toolkit to determine the root causes for current turnaround times.
Though debate over specific solutions may continue, there seems to be widespread consensus for changes in healthcare in the United States to address inconsistencies in quality and efficiency. So what is keeping these changes from happening?
P&R IM, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), led an analysis of the Health Treatment Record (HTR) life cycle management process to help ensure service members and veterans receive their benefits in a timely manner.
Top managers usually agree on the big issues in any healthcare organization. But to find out why these things are occurring, a statistical method such as Six Sigma should be trusted to identify and address the real source of any problems.
When turnaround time analysis revealed that the treatment of patients with simple lacerations took an average of more than two hours, the process was analyzed and streamlined.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recently reported that the Canadian province of Quebec is on track to lower the rate of increase in costs for its universal healthcare system due to the implementation of Lean Six Sigma-based continuous improvement practices.
Causes of admitting delays are addressed to meet a hospital's goal to be where employees want to work, patients want to receive care and physicians want to practice.
To accommodate growth in surgical service without adding resources, a Six Sigma team at Deaconess Hospital takes aim at reducing the number of same day surgical cancellations.
In 2000, Broward Health’s Environment of Care (EoC) Key Group, the organization’s corporate-level safety committee, challenged the healthcare system to reduce contaminated needle sticks. The effort followed the Six Sigma DMAIC roadmap.
A hospital's Specials Department project improved start times, increased throughput, implemented control mechanisms for continuous improvement and more.
New York-Presbyterian Hospital embarked on an initiative to improve throughput in its three cardiac cath labs.
At Deaconess Health System a Six Sigma team undertakes a door-to-inflation project to improve the throughput process for AMI patients.
Six years ago, the number of ambulance diversions at Providence Health System in Alaska had begun to be a concern. Despite some temporary improvements, the hospital decided to resolve the reoccurring problem more permanently with CAP and Work-out.
Many hospitals are embarking on a cultural change using Six Sigma concepts and principles to catapult themselves into a higher dimension of quality.
A key component of Six Sigma is the use of Work-out to move from a statistical delineation of a process or quality improvement to a practical solution. Work-out is a tightly designed problem-solving process involving facilitation tools and techniques. Included in this article are two case studies.
Using Lean Six Sigma’s principles in the field of public health will enable organizations to develop effective models to improve their operations, deliver care effectively and efficiently, and create positive health outcomes within their community.
Hospitals in the Tampa Bay, Fla., USA, area tripled profits in 2009, largely by cutting expenses. That puts the local hospitals among a growing number of businesses nationally that are focused on controlling expenses to boost income, as the recession cut into revenue growth.
The well-regarded nuclear medicine department located in the Ospedale Santa Croce e Carle profits from a Six Sigma continuous improvement project.
A Six Sigma project was assembled when surgeons at a Houston hospital expressed dissatisfaction with the length of time required to prepare the OR between cases.
Director of Quality Outcomes Nidia Williams explains how the deployment in this three-hospital organization has evolved in the past two years.
SSC Changes the Six Sigma World and Shifts the Way Six Sigma Is Delivered: Early Adopters Include CBC and Cardinal Health
Here are 10 keys to successful transformation which have been embraced by highly successful healthcare organizations.
In this Six Sigma case study, a medical center tackles delays in its surgical schedule by focusing on the first case of the day.
Results were dramatic when Northwestern Memorial Hospital applied Six Sigma to long wait times in its diagnostic testing center.
Emergency room waiting times could be cut by over one third and patients’ length of stay by almost two-thirds, thanks to a new approach to the triage process of sorting patients for further assessment and treatment, according to research published…
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) National Research Network and the American College of Physicians released a study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Physicians (JABFM) in September showing how including both physicians and non-physicians on process improvement teams can help better facilitate change management, according to an article by David Mitchell of AAFP News Now.
Six Sigma at Valley Baptist Health System has begun to foster a culture that embraces the voice of the customer, breaks down barriers to change and raises performance expectations.
This success story from the Lean deployment at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America shows how front-line workers can lead improvement efforts
For many, delivering quality patient care is non-negotiable and the ability to function at the highest level of efficiency while doing so is seen as a necessity...not a choice. Realizing and responding to this quandary a few years ago, California's Stanford University Medical Center decided to aggressively work toward a solution and overcome resistance by approaching it with evidence.
At the recent Clinton Global Initiative meeting in Chicago, Toyota Motor Corp. announced the launch of a program that will teach its Lean-based Toyota Production System (TPS) guidelines to schools, hospitals and non-profits across the United States.
British medical device Kimal has announced that it will begin implementing Six Sigma process improvements to enhance the quality of its services.
Swapping three systems and folders stuffed with paper forms for one laptop and a few forms was too good of an idea to pass up for LTC Patricia Ten Haaf, commander of the 452nd Combat Support Hospital (CSH). After all, leading an eight-bed medical treatment facility at Forward Operating Base Salerno in Afghanistan had enough challenges.
A clinical laboratory in the African nation of Uganda is preparing to adopt Lean standards to improve efficiency, according to a statement from Ali Elbireer, laboratory administrative director for the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI).
Process improvement tools can be used to support the NCQA accreditation’s organizational planning phase and to make positive changes to patient service.
These are four examples where Six Sigma can impact in clinical areas such as infection control and medication delivery.
A medical center used Six Sigma to reduce nosocomial pressure ulcers by 60 percent, improving the patient care and resulting in an annual cost avoidance of $300,000.
A Minnesota-based quality group recently presented three people with the 2010 Shurson Awards, honoring commitment to quality principles. The winners, chosen by the Rochester Area Quality Council (RAQC), are Gene Dankbar and Dr. Prathibha Varkey of the Mayo Clinic, and Darryl Mickelson of Hormel Foods Corp.
The complete process was efficient, and it also reduced the stress of the patient’s pre-surgical health.