Operational Excellence

Do You Know Which Six Sigma Strategies Are Used In Health?

Jun 07, 2019 | 181 views

Since Motorola first introduced Six Sigma strategies in the 1980s, its methodologies have been adapted to suit all major industry scenarios. With its emphasis on improving business processes through data-driven goals, Six Sigma offers great applications to eliminate inconsistencies, redundancies, and unnecessary waste in today's healthcare system.

The implementation of Six Sigma in healthcare settings is not new. Hospitals have been using Six Sigma for at least a decade to streamline clinical processes and administrative procedures with solid results. It makes sense that Six Sigma strategies are also helpful by simplifying record keeping, building a better billing system, and tracking large amounts of data.

In order to implement Six Sigma strategies in their fullness, the full cooperation of top executives is vital. Acquiring the resources needed to implement Six Sigma and training the necessary employees and leaders is important to achieving the highest return on investment. Professionals with Six Sigma training and experience in healthcare can have a competitive edge as more jobs become available.

For hospitals and other healthcare institutions that have already achieved great success in other areas, adapting Six Sigma to meet the challenge of medical records should be an easy decision. As competition increases for patients in the coming years, facilities that can pass some savings on to their clients or channel resources to create a better patient experience can be successful over those that remain ineffective and non-responsive of the customer.

Do you know what results Six Sigma has already brought to hospitals?

Six Sigma strives to deliver a better product with fewer "defects" over time. In a manufacturing configuration, this is interpreted as creating a product with 99.9996% absence of errors. It is sometimes interpreted as 3.4 defects per million opportunities. In hospital environments, relying on the help of Yellow Belts, White, Green, Black and Master Black Six Sigma Belts trained, executives can usually see impressive results. The most impressive results can be achieved with a long-term commitment to Six Sigma methodologies, and many hospital executives and hiring managers look for well-trained Six Sigma professionals to lead their implementation and project management teams.

Do you know what specific Six Sigma strategies are used to improve medical record keeping?

Six Sigma projects use an organized and logical approach to problem solving. This approach focuses on customer satisfaction and uses well-built metrics to generate profitable goals. In general, the Six Sigma process progresses through the following standard steps:

Define the problem
In the case of compliance with electronic registration, the problem is clearly defined. However, converting files to an electronic format is only part of the process. It is also necessary to create an infrastructure for medical professionals to use this data effectively and maintain systems, and for patients to fully understand why compliance can provide them with better care.

Measure fundamental aspects; Collect data
Six Sigma analyzes the current processes that support the long-term outcome of the product and collects data on what is working and what is not working. Looking holistically across the landscape can help create a more agile and reliable product or service.

Analyze the data to identify and verify cause and effect relationships
Six Sigma is focused on finding the root cause why some policies, procedures, and infrastructure can prevent an organization from achieving important goals. The fractured and forked approach to medical record keeping that currently ranges from division to division within the same company is a perfect Six Sigma challenge. The end result of tackling this problem will be to build a better healthcare information system to meet federal mandates and achieve aggressive profit targets.

I refine the current process using carefully constructed metrics and set up pilot programs that can be tailored and respond to varied clients
Not all healthcare settings will require the same thing as an electronic record keeping system. Companies that send a large number of nurses working from home to the field, for example, need an infrastructure in which professionals can access data easily and securely from remote locations. For physicians who see a multitude of patients with complicated cases, the data need to be presented in a logical way that the physician can use effectively to quickly treat the clinical diagnosis. Keeping users and customers in mind when tailoring a solution is a remarkable strategy for Six Sigma effectiveness.

Control are established to monitor usage, collect customer feedback, document errors, and establish a plan for continuous improvement and adaptation
Six Sigma is an adaptive set of processes supported by highly detailed metrics that are used to drive continuous improvement and monitoring. Six Sigma involves a long-term commitment to a process that delivers proven ROI when all stakeholders are invested safely in the process.

IT professionals play an important role in system development and the training of employees and careers in health informatics continues to grow. Professional rewards can be great for the best professionals willing to do whatever it takes to position themselves for this important opportunity. It's a historic moment in US healthcare, and well-trained Six Sigma professionals have the strategies and focus they need to drive that epic change in healthcare computing.