Case Studies

Reducing Admitting Delays by Improving Bed Management

When confronted by concerns of some physicians about frequent lengthy delays that they experienced admitting patients, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in Houston, Texas, assembled a cross-functional Six Sigma team to identify and address any underlying issues that might be causing the delays. The business case for pursuing the project was clear. Improving bed management and…

Software and Systems: The Disciplines of CRM

  The total customer relationship management (CRM) market will reach $12.1 billion by 2004, representing an annual growth rate of 29.9 percent, according to the 2000 CRM Market Forecast and Analysis prepared by IDC, the world’s leading provider of information technology data and analysis. It is highly unlikely, however, that the CRM market will reach…

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Applying Six Sigma to Improve Diagnostic Imaging

Since the discovery of X-rays in 1895, the field of diagnostic imaging has undergone dramatic changes. Within a year after its introduction, the application of X-rays to diagnosis and therapy had already become an established part of medicine. The decades to follow produced a steadily increasing stream of innovation – including the advent of nuclear…


Streamlining Diagnostic Testing at Northwestern Memorial

The diagnostic testing center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago is an outpatient laboratory that is kept perennially busy serving the needs of the community. Thousands of walk-in patients are seen each year, primarily for blood tests (phlebotomy) and electrocardiograms (EKGs). Although Northwestern receives acclaim for its patient care, some complaints had begun to surface…

Improving ED Wait Times at North Shore University Hospital

The Emergency Department (ED) increasingly is becoming the sole source of medical care for many individuals. It also is often called the “gateway” to the hospital since it is the first encounter many patients have with the hospital. Thus it is the place where positive or negative perceptions of the hospital initially may be formed….


Using Six Sigma to Solve Issues in Public School System

Of all the new and innovative applications for Six Sigma, none may be as interesting as one being used in the state of Colorado – applying Six Sigma to all aspects of a public school system. And “all aspects” includes the heart of every school district – the classroom. In 2008, businessman Jim Weigel, who…


Six Sigma Catapults Hospitals to Next Level of Quality

The quality and variability of care delivered by hospitals is highly profiled in the media today. Pick up a newspaper, turn on the television or open a healthcare trade journal and chances are there will be an article detailing the real or possible occurrence of medical errors, allegations of a hospital’s failure to comply with…

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A Successful Pain Management Initiative at LDS Hospital

Three years ago many best practices already were in place at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. The hospital was providing bedside registration, advanced triage protocols, point of care testing and real time radiology. A robust and comprehensive continuous quality improvement program had been established and as a result, higher patient satisfaction scores,…

Increasing Cath Lab Capacity Through Six Sigma

Healthcare organizations currently implementing Six Sigma are finding no shortage of opportunities for applying this approach – and many are reaping substantial benefits in terms of cost, quality and productivity. One area increasingly targeted in recent years has been the cardiac catheterization lab, which is generally a high-volume, challenging and complex environment within any healthcare facility….

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Strategies for Improving Patient Safety in the Hospital

The fact that patients are not entirely safe in a hospital is not breaking news. Errors in healthcare delivery were occurring long before the 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine exposed significant gaps in the healthcare system in the United States. The institute’s report, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, found…

Automating Input Data to Improve On-Time DeliveriesAn iSixSigma Case Study

Liquid Controls, a manufacturer of high-quality flow meters and accessories for accurate liquid measurement, is a well-practiced user of Six Sigma methodologies. Having adopted Six Sigma in 1999 and made significant strides in improving manufacturing processes, the company more recently began to turn attention to transactional processes for serving customers. Liquid Controls identified several processes…