Quantifying Project Impact in Healthcare

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Industries Healthcare Quantifying Project Impact in Healthcare

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    Nicole Szalay

    Curious to hear from other process improvement leaders in the healthcare space – how are you calculating and tracking impact for improvement projects? Focused on financial ROI only or tracking a broader set of outcomes indicators including impact on quality, patient experience, employee engagement etc.?



    While I have no experience in the health care industry — hopefully someone who does will share what they’re doing — I’d encourage you to look closely at your CTQ variables, and what they say about priorities and mission.



    There are a number of impacts from other industries that apply in healthcare even though the market dynamics are a bit different. They include:
    1. Revenue retention in terms of will subscribers come back next year – use average revenue – allow for some not having a choice based on insurance – take complaints and multiply by 5 because no more than 20% of patients and families complain due to fear of retribution/hassle.
    2. Word of mouth – we then go farther and ask, of those you told, how many do you know acted on your recommendation.
    3. Primary care doc referrals – we’ve found that 1 or 2 complaints to a PCP about a lab or imaging clinic can result in loss of all referrals (e.g., 100 per year) without ever having complained to the lab – if you see referrals from a PCP drop, ask if they’ve received a complaint about you.
    4. Employee frustrations and time wasted. We recommend asking employees about their key frustrations in giving good service to the external customer, how often it happens and time wasted when it happens. See these articles on employee feedback and enhancing internal service with SLAs. Employee frustration feedback
    Internal service improvement with SLAs
    Also, I attach an old but still totally relevant article from Patient Safety. [email protected]

    1. Patient_Safety_Complaints308.pdf
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    Brian Patterson

    I’ve worked in Healthcare for over 15 years and have used a mix of measures to track projects. It tends to be very project dependent. I’ve used ROI as a metric for projects focused more on administrative tasks such as hiring and patient referrals. I’ve used clinical metrics for projects that directly tied to the patient experience such as reducing infections or managing clinical outcomes. It’s been my experience that many healthcare workers don’t respond well if you lead with the financials on a project. You have to focus on how the patients will benefit before you can explore the financial savings.

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