A northern California hospital took up a project to increase customer satisfaction by improving its outpatient facility. The improvement project was important since there was tough competition from nearby hospitals, and customer loyalty mattered. Out of the many reasons that surfaced, decreasing the TAT (turnaround time) was one that was consistent.
Six Sigma was chosen to elucidate the problem and suggest and implement an upgraded mechanism. In the Define phase of the improvement project, a process map was drawn out with the goal to exceed the current industry standard of 24 hours. While measuring the Six Sigma project, team found that it was 64 hours for the hospital at the current time, which was way above the expectation.
The additional time was taken up by various systems such as the transcription, report signature, report delivery and also by the technician not entering data in the Radiology Information System (RIS). These delays were eliminated by automation and through proper training of the work staff.
Getting the reports faxed out also required planning, which was done by the Six Sigma team successfully. The improvement project was able to make the physicians as well the patients happy. It reduced the TAT from 64 hours to mere 9 hours, thereby making an 85% improvement overall. It has sustained the enhancement, and wishes to deliver the same to its other locations, while continuing to act upon the voice of the customer.