Implementing Lean Six Sigma In Healthcare

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Healthcare is a complex industry where numerous different stakeholders are involved at various stages of the care continuum and the end objective is to ensure the optimal care delivery for each end customer, that is, the patients. However, due to the multifaceted nature of healthcare delivery, maintaining efficiency and accuracy is an immense challenge. Over the past few decades, numerous studies have been conducted to streamline the various processes involved, in an attempt to reduce errors and improve performance. Many frameworks have been tested and Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is one of the best process improvement methods which has been tried and tested in other domains with reasonable degree of success. Application of LSS methodologies to healthcare…show more content…
These strategies, which include many frameworks like the Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, aim to implement process improvements through a harmonized set of principles and practices that promote greater efficiency and better outcomes, with fewer inefficient practices and faults(1). Evolving from their original application in manufacturing industries, these process improvement strategies have been extended to other industries and domains including various service based sectors like software development, financial services, health care delivery, and laboratory sciences, among others(1).
Implementing Lean Six Sigma (LSS) in non-manufacturing sector like healthcare is a fascinating and equally challenging proposition. Healthcare service contains many complex systems and processes with various stakeholders who should operate under pressures of high clinical and administrative quality levels. LSS methodology has been gradually adopted in healthcare since early 2000s in order to reduce medical errors and to improve quality of patient care. It also strives to improve the safety levels for both patients and healthcare
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Unsurprisingly, healthcare vital sponsors like administrators and decision makers are always on the lookout for appropriate methods to better manage the above-mentioned problems, streamline the system and as a result improve the outcomes and experience for the patient, and at the same time, optimize the escalating costs(4).

Lean Six Sigma is one of the ways to try to achieve this end goal through better process management, removing non-value add components from the system and making the healthcare delivery system defect free. It is a suitable methodology for application to healthcare settings as it requires attention to detail and can support and sustain the volume, speed and precision involved in various healthcare processes(5).

Objectives of the Review:
• The objective of this review is to understand the basics of Six Sigma and Lean and what tools these methodologies use to improve different processes and solve certain business problems. In addition to that it is also imperative to see how these methodologies can be implemented on to some of the healthcare processes to improve process efficiency and clinical

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