Six Sigma Healthcare

Six Sigma for Healthcare Improves Patient Care and Reduces Costs

We have delivered programs to Healthcare service providers with great success from eight different locations across the US. From 2004-2006 one organization of Healthcare Belts closed a project with over 2 Million of Annual Savings.

3-Day Healthcare Jumpstart Rx©

6Sigma.us offers a very unique 3-day Jumpstart Rx© course that is tailored to the Healthcare environment. While much of the Lean Six Sigma methodologies are applicable to any process improvement program, there are certain unique qualities of the Healthcare environment that require a full understanding of what providers are currently facing. The complex nature of the service delivery and outcomes, supply chain, and reimbursement interactions necessitate a focused program.

This 3-day Six Sigma Healthcare course builds on the proven Lean Six Sigma training that has made 6Sigma.us a proven and highly sought after resource for many industries. The DMAIC program typically consists of the following topics, tools and techniques:

  • Lean Six Sigma Introduction
  • Lean Six Sigma Project Definition
  • Project Selection Process
  • Lean Six Sigma Deployment
  • Process Mapping
  • Input Prioritization Tools
  • Failure Mode Effect Analysis
  • Minitab 14.2 Introduction
  • Measurement Systems
  • Capability Analysis
  • Sample Size Selection
  • Statistical Process Control
  • Process Control Plan
  • Project Plan & Deliverable
  • Project Reviews
  • Homework

However, to make this Jumpstart Rx© course appealing to Healthcare providers, the content and case examples are customized for this distinctive audience. The group is allowed to select case examples that are of interest and applicable to THEIR class. Previous case studies have focused on the following:

Six Sigma Healthcare Bed Capacity Improvement

One of the most important resources in the hospital environment is the “bed.” This critical resource gets demands from just about every department in the hospital including surgery, the ER, and the ICU. If patients are not allowed to “flow” through these critical resources, the result is that every process feeding the beds become backed-up, which in turn reduces the amount of patient services that can be administered. The gridlock that arises strains all elements of the provider’s resources (people, time and money) and can impact directly the quality, timeliness, and effectiveness of the service. Such factors can be measured in terms of satisfaction or patient outcomes. By breaking down the overall delivery process into smaller, subsystem activities, the Lean Six Sigma practitioner can bring to the surface those areas that constrain the system during peak demand.

Six Sigma HealthcareEmergency Department Capacity Improvement

One area that a hospital experiences unpredictable demand is that of Emergency Department (ED) arrivals. For a hospital, this is a major source of entry into the provider system that requires further demand on the services. It can also represent lost revenue if patients cannot be admitted and must be turned away. The goal for the hospital’s ED might include increasing patient throughput from the department into the subsequent care areas, increasing staff productivity, and ensuring all arriving patients can be serviced. The outcome for the patient is increased overall satisfaction.

Six Sigma HealthcareOther Improvement Areas

Other case studies have focused on other key areas of a hospital, including Cardiology Services, Supply Chain Optimization, Perioperative Services, and Intensive Care Units. Using the students’ input, one or several of the topics become part of the training material. Review the 6Sigma.us website for an example of actual projects and outcomes from previous students with the increased demands of the Healthcare provider, finding time to take off-site training is a difficult balancing act. 6Sigma.us understands this, which is why the 3-day Jumpstart Rx program was developed. Carefully linking the well established Lean Six Sigma techniques with the unique attributes of the Healthcare environment is “just what the Doctor ordered.”

Contact 6Sigma.us for further information.

If you are interested in the full Green Belt please feel free to join one of our full length Six Sigma Green Belt programs.

Project Examples from one of our Medical Laboratory Clients

BeltProject(s)Dates of Completion*Cost Savings
BlackReducing Blood WastageMay-13$213,290
BlackSTAT TroponinJun-13$88,000
BlackNAT TATSep-13$463,000
YellowMCHC RepeatsOct-13$7,800
BlackDecreasing QA Occurrence Report TATJan-13$23,000
BlackImproving donor collection errorsJan-13$150,000
GreenUse Health Care Provider NumberJan-13$78,000
GreenReducing Confirmatory Testing TATJun-13$22,000
BlackAnatomic Pathology Tracking SystemJul-13$273,600
GreenReduction of Specimen Submission ErrorsJul-13
BlackTAT for Quant HCGJul-13$30,000
BlackReducing civilian platelet purchasesSep-13
BlackRAST TestingOct-13
GreenReduction of Commercial Reference Laboratory Costs/ContractsOct-13$200,000
BlackReducing FFP BreakageOct-13$88,000
BlackReducing Blood Contam RateDec-13$55,000
GreenSupply Ordering Issues  June-July 2005$4,100
BlackReducing TAT of Troponin TestingJul-13$88,000
BlackDecrease Red Blood Cell PurchasesAug-05$300,000
GreenAPTT Turn-around TimeDec-13$50,000


“We are making excellent progress, $15 million total to date since projects began to go live in April-May 2001, projecting 14-15 million this year alone. Cultural transformation is occurring as the successes mount.”

Jeff Burnich Mount Carmel Health Mount Carmel Health