With the aging population increasing, we are starting to see the rise of chronic diseases. On a positive note, our older population is educating themselves on high-quality medical care and following a healthier lifestyle. On the downside, this puts added pressure on the already failing healthcare system. Implementing Lean Six Sigma methodologies could significantly improve the quality of our healthcare system in several ways.
First and foremost, there is a strong connection between customer satisfaction and patient wellness in the medical industry. A small improvement on waiting time could save a significant amount of money and increase patient satisfaction and wellness.
Six Sigma methodologies could be used in the triage process (this is when assessments are made on a patient’s condition based on the severity of their condition). One can create a performance baseline using Six Sigma methodologies so that waiting time and delays can be measured and analyzed so that a root cause can be found.
The Voice of the Customer (VOC) can be implemented to get the patient’s point of view and what is important to them when at the ER. Yes, we know getting better is important, but one must also consider wait times as part of patient care.
Poor Quality in Healthcare is Expensive
It costs the healthcare industry more than $2.4 million a year in additional days spent in the hospital due to medical errors, and another $17 billion in excess charges per year.
The LSS tools are simple to use and the rewards are astronomical. The approach has helped countless of industries, but the healthcare industry affects us all at some point so its importance is high. Some of these tools include:
- VSM training
- Mapping the value stream
- Identifying waste
- Planned actions for waste reduction
- Increasing value added ration
With our medical costs being so out of control, the healthcare industry cannot afford not to use lean methodologies. For more information on our Six Sigma training courses and services, please visit 6sigma.us.