iSixSigma

Case Studies

Common Success Factors, Uncommon Success in Europe

Whether implementing Six Sigma in Munich or Manhattan, Paris or Prague, certain common factors are critical for success. Nonetheless, how one successfully applies these factors is culturally dependent. Universal Critical Success Factors Accepting the General Electric definition of Six Sigma as “completely satisfying customers’ needs profitably” means that Six Sigma requires a company-wide initiative to…

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The Organic Growth of Six Sigma at John Crane Inc.

Deployment is one of the most critical elements of a successful Six Sigma program. Top-down support, Champion training, wide publicity and Six Sigma awareness training for all employees are usual components. In addition, employees selected to be Black or Green Belts must be trained, and projects strategically selected. But deployment is not a destination. Rather,…

Six Sigma Improves Workflow in N-Medicine Department

The nuclear medicine department located in the Ospedale Santa Croce e Carle in Cuneo, Italy, has always been recognized as a national and international reference site for its clinical compentencies and innovative facility design. When originally opened, the nuclear medicine department was structured to provide the best possible service to patients. This included a focus…

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Achieving and Sustaining Improvement in Cardiac Medication

More than 70 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease, including stroke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure (CHF) and acute myocardial infarction (AMI). The numbers continue to rise as the population ages, and improving the timeliness and quality of cardiovascular care continues to be a critical area of focus for healthcare providers. Some…

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Listen to Customers and Change the Process Accordingly – An iSixSigma Case Study

For a business to successfully change its processes to meet customer needs and expectations, it must use measurable critical-to-satisfaction data. One company, a homebuilding business, used customer satisfaction surveys to measure performance for several years with customers receiving surveys periodically throughout their homebuilding experience. Then the company used this information to implement change. Data collected…

Using Six Sigma to Reduce Medical Transcription Errors

A Six Sigma project at a medical transcription company in India for U.S.-based customers first debunked the myth that output quality variability cannot be systematically improved because of the inherent variability of input quality and human skills. Then, encouraged by the results, the company launched a second phase of the quality movement to consolidate learning,…

Removing the Bottlenecks, Improving Flow in Radiology

Moving patients efficiently through the system can become a challenge for hospitals and imaging centers, especially as demand increases. This was the case for the radiology department at Watson Clinic in Lakeland, Florida, USA. A growing backlog of appointments – particularly in computed tomography (CT) scans – had begun to impact timely access to services. While…

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Measure the Immeasurable: The World of Smell and Taste

In many industries, improvement projects quickly face an obstacle: The lack of easy to get and reliable data. This is especially true when the critical-to-quality elements (CTQs) of the project are “soft attributes” such as taste, smell or texture. Facing such a problem in the food and drink industries is obvious. While in a Kano…

Sustaining Breakthrough Improvements in Insurance FirmAn iSixSigma Case Study

A young, rapidly expanding insurance company in India, which was looking for breakthrough improvements in its customer service, decided its No. 1 critical-to-quality objective would be “reducing the turnaround time from an insurance proposal to policy.” Phase 1 of the project achieved dramatic success with turnarounds, reducing time in the central processing division by 80…

Reducing Door-to-inflation Time for the AMI Patient

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and more than 900,000 people annually are diagnosed with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) have identified AMI as one of the early priority focus areas for hospital…

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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…

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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….

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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…

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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…