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Lean Six Sigma in Healthcare Industry

As per the industry classification benchmark, this industry sector includes the following subsectors –

Health Care Providers – Owners and operators of health maintenance organizations, hospitals, clinics, dentists, opticians, nursing homes, rehabilitation and retirement centers.

Medical Equipment – Manufacturers and distributors of medical devices such as MRI scanners, prosthetics, pacemakers, X-ray machines and other non-disposable medical devices.

Medical Supplies – Manufacturers and distributors of medical supplies used by health care providers and the general public. Includes makers of contact lenses, eyeglass lenses, bandages and other disposable medical supplies.

Application of Six Sigma in Healthcare Industry

The following are the sample projects of Six Sigma in Healthcare

  • Improving patient and relative feedback
  • Reducing or eliminating invoicing errors
  • Reducing patient checkout time.
  • Reducing patient complaints
  • Reducing complaint resolution time
  • Control spending over time
  • Reducing admitting delays
  • Reducing medicine administration errors
  • Reducing medication delays
  • Improving bed utilization
  • Increasing number of surgical operations per week.

Among users of six sigma in healthcare early pioneers include GE Healthcare, Florida Hospital, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Healthcare Excellence Institute in US has helped hospitals in bed management and faster processing utilizing lean management methods.

  • Case Study Description

    1. One of the biggest healthcare providers in the country found that that the executive health-check scheme was not as successful as perceived initially. A good percentage of patients had to return unexpectedly on second day for part of the health check as all the checks were not completed on the first day. A Six Sigma project was launched to address the issue. On completion of this project, the cycle time of health check was brought down considerably and customer recalls were brought down to less than 20% of original numbers.

    2. Delay in discharge of patients was a chronic problem at a leading Indian Hospital. A detailed survey was carried out to assess the biggest reasons of discharge delay. Data showed that in more than 60% of the cases, discharge delays were due to communication gaps about time of discharge. In majority of cases, the relatives did not know about the exact discharge time in advance. This led to late arrival of vehicle for patient discharge in many cases. The hospital decided to create a more effective communication process about discharge timing. Need for process re-engineering is identified in this project. So Doctors, Surgeons, Assistants, and Administrative staff were included in the initiative to make several changes in the process. Contact information was collected well in advance.

    Doctors started recording and displaying the expected discharge date on the second day after admission. A reminder process was created to intimate patients and relatives aware few hours before discharge.

    On completion of this six sigma project of process re-engineering resulted in more patients being managed every month resulting in a direct revenue impact and also affected the satisfaction level of patients positively. (Patients did not have great comments about discharge process before this project).

Feedback from participants

Instructor and material were two best things about this company.
– C.Venkata Reddy, Manager-Quality, Life Line Hospital Group.

Guaranteed satisfaction for the paid money!!!
-Dr. J. Bharati, Student – Masters of Hospital Management, Apollo Institutes of Hospital.

Join benchmark to be above the crowd.
-Dr. Mohd Abdul Nafeh, Asst. Manager – Admin, Care Hospital.

If you are somebody who believes that anything and everything can be improved, then the course is worth taking. It is excellent with respect to the course content and its orientation.
-Dr.Niveditha Rao Potlapally, Student – MHA, Apollo Institutes of Hospital.

Survival of the fittest…………..Six Sigma!!!
-Dr. Rachna, Student, Apollo Institute of Hospital Management.

The Interactive session with people from different background was quite enriching.
-Mohammad Arshad, Student – Masters of Hospital Management, Apollo Institutes of Hospital.

Explaining the concept and tools with simple examples makes it very easy to understand.
-Ashok Kumar J, Director, Salem Gopi Hospitals Pvt. Ltd.

The content of all four days was very interesting.
-Kanagaraj Dhandapani, Chief Operations Officer, VCare Hospital.

Six sigma training workshop exceeded all my expectations – it definitely changed my way of thinking for making business improvements in my field.
-Karthikeyan Chakkarapani, IT Manager – Strategy & Operations, American Hospital Association.

Although I am not in quality improvement, but I can still find small ways to improve using six sigma approaches in my current work approach.
-Ashutosh Kumar Singh, Service Delivery Executive, United Healthcare.

Graphical presentations, live practice on the formulas and work sheets. It changes the way we look at data.
-Seema Shinde, Assistant Manager, Unitech Healthcare.

Great for business process re-engineering.
-Dr .V. Prem Kishore, Head, Apollo DRDO Hospital.

Highly recommended for all organizations wanting to improve the overall productivity in a scientific manner.
-Dr. Kedar C. Berde, Medical Officer, Reliance Health.

Benchmark Six Sigma has designed the training program more user friendly. It illustrates precisely about how to take best out of statistical tools.
-Pradeep Kumar Sharma, Piramal Healthcare Ltd.

The best course to achieve customer satisfaction and breakthrough performance improvement.
-Y. Subrahmanyam, GM, Apollo Hospital.

This course is an eye opener for things that we usually ignore in a day-to-day process that can be improved by leaps and bounds.
-Sadhan Samanta, Director of Technology, Infrahealth India Pvt. Ltd.

It was never boring…like other training sessions. Quiz session was very good.
– Seema Verma, Sr Manager- Inventory, HR & Quality, Nirmal Hospital Pvt. Ltd.

The training is more on the data base so we can judge the things with surety and measurability and it has the steps which are very specific, so work becomes easy to conduct.
– Priyanka Swami, Assistant Hospital Administrator, Hospital for Mental Health.

The structure, content and presentation were excellent. Benchmark Six Sigma is setting the benchmark for perfect sigma levels.
– Shantini S, Regional Manager, Kerala Ayurveda Ltd.