Lean Six Sigma in HealthCare

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:11 PM by Post Master   [ updated Apr 7, 2011, 8:00 AM ]

Process modeling measures, analyses, improves and controls characteristics of the business process in an organization. It demands the commitment of everyone in the organization, particularly high-level management, to achieve sustainable quality improvement. It reasons that business success depends on reduction of process variation, with continuous effort to establish stable and predictable process results.

The historical success of organizations that implemented correct process modeling has made this topic a common practice for all organizations that wish to optimize their performance; and with increasing demand on health care information and limited financial resources, health care organizations have followed suite of the major industries and are now increasingly implementing these concepts.

Six Sigma, christened after the statistical process capability studies, was originally a set of practices to improve manufacturing process developed by Bill Smith at Motorola in 1986. However, it has expanded in the two subsequent decades to extend to other types of business processes as one of the most popular quality improvement strategies.

The paper is divided to two main parts. The first part presents a review of  current literature, showing the facts and issues of each concept. It introduces the Six Sigma strategy and the Lean Manufacturing approach, and describes how the combination of these, Lean Six Sigma, is used as a methodology for business process management.

 The SIPOC diagrams are then described in further detail, pointing out how should each part (Supplier, Input, Process, Output, and Customer) should be documented and described. The Swim lane diagrams that depict the processes are then introduced and their expected layout and properties discussed.

 Once the processes are defined correctly by the SIPOC diagrams, they need to be analysed. Value Stream Mapping and Quality Stream Mapping are two of these tools that are described here as the last section of the first part of this document.

 The second part defines the metadata for SIPOC diagrams. Here, tables demonstrate each data element that should be recorded about each part of the system, and an example or a description is presented to help specify that element correctly. A set of graphic icons is represented at the end of the document to be used in process maps so that they would all follow a uniform visual presentation.