New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) began their Six Sigma initiative in 2003. Today they are ranked 7th in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals Honor Roll. Before implementing Six Sigma they were ranked 14th. Ed Craven, Director of Innovation Strategy at NYP said Six Sigma deserves some of the credit for jump in the ranks.

Ed gave a detailed overview of Six Sigma at NYP at the IQPC DFSS conference in Chicago last April. Their program, Performance Excellence, is dedicated to improving quality, efficiency and service through the execution of Six Sigma and Design for Six Sigma. Project examples included many cycle-time reduction projects (e.g., blood delivery, medication delivery, patient wait, and MRI wait), efficiency projects (e.g., outpatient transplant room utilization, inpatient efficiency, and Cardiac Cath Lab Revenue Enhancement), and my favorite project — use of abbreviations in medical records.

In their first year NYP completed 130 Six Sigma projects and saw over 50 million dollars in savings. They have trained 50 Black Belts, 300 Green Belts, and 4 Master Black Belts. Being a Black Belt for NYP has its advantages; 25 percent of Black Belts returning to the workforce after their service received higher salaries than before and many returned to lead their departments. This kind of recognition has made the Black Belt selection process very competitive. There were nearly 100 internal applicants this year to fill 10 positions.

Six Sigma is continuing to grow and evolve at NYP. As a non-profit, NYP sees the quality of life a motivator to continuously improve operations for their patients. In non-profit healthcare, the bottom line isn’t always about money, sometimes it’s really about the care.

Articles and Links

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Partners With GE Medical Systems To Deliver Excellence In Patient Care And Performance, GE Healthcare, September 8, 2003

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