|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Healthcare Asia Healthcare policy|
Lean Six Sigma is a technique that relies on teamwork to improve output by reducing waste. (Trakulsunti & Antony, 2018). Since 2012; a traditional Chinese medicine hospital used the Lean Six Sigma method to reduce errors in the infusion procedures at the respiratory unit. It was also used to improve cases on-time rate of surgery and lower rerouting in the outpatient clinical procedures. These projects consisted of three teams each with a surgeon, nurse, an administrative professional and IT specialist. A strategic plan was laid out to make lean healthcare a driving force to empower staff, involve them in solving problems, and in training staff that would lead to continuous improvement. The main reason for establishing Lean Six Sigma was to serve patients better.
At a public hospital in Spain outside Barcelona, the lean transformation was adopted by the enthusiastic staff that was committed to high-quality integrated health care. The work of the team was applying different methods in problem-solving. Doctors and nurses also chose different leadership behaviors. The success of the lean project was due to the commitment to the process by staff and direct involvement by top management. The public hospital, in collaboration with mentors and the team from lean management were challenged to diagnose situations and find answers on the cases. They also learned to stabilize their work and create a baseline for continuous improvements. (Trakulsunti & Antony, 2018).
Joanna Omi initiated the project and involved rethinking and redesigning NYC health and hospital corporations using Lean Six Sigma. The team began by handling issues like chronic illnesses, revenue generation, financial stability and access to primary healthcare by residents. Department heads focused on determining their priorities and applying lean thinking where it deemed fit. These projects enabled the proper management of patients in the emergency room. There was also double-digit improvement in patient satisfaction with the management team working to working to create awareness on specific patient issues. (Nayar & Nguyen,2016).
Common characteristics of lean six sigma projects
Of all the three projects of Lean Six Sigma, all hospitals focused on methods that benefited patients the most. Existing processes were done away with, and solutions that brought value to the patient sought. Such solutions included minimizing the time it takes to get to the point of treating the patient. (Chaurasia & Agarwal, 2017). There was also massive improvement in teamwork and strengthened the bond between top management and staff. The projects also involved studying processes and cutting out waste to ensure better outcomes in terms of patient satisfaction and efficiency and cost management. Methods that meant coming up with plans that involved what needed a change from the procedures patients had to go through to the happenings during treatment.
Impact of Lean Six Sigma
Lean principles can be applied to reduce medical errors, reduce mortality rates, reduce the time spent by patients in hospitals and improve patient care. There is also a need to enhance the relationship between top management doctors and nurses for the implementation of Lean Six Sigma effectively. There is a need to come up with working procedures from patient admission to treatment to reduce the time spent by patients in hospitals. By introducing Lean Six Sigma, the mind of employees and managers is tuned to focus on continuous growth and improvement. This change in mindset enables an organization to improve efficiency and increased profitability.
Chaurasia, B., Garg, D., & Agarwal, A. (2017). Lean Six Sigma application in the healthcare of patients. International Journal of Intelligent Enterprise, 4(3), 275-282.
Nayar, P., Ojha, D., Fetrick, A., & Nguyen, A. T. (2016). Applying Lean Six Sigma to improve medication management. International journal of health care quality assurance, 29(1), 16-23.
Trakulsunti, Y., & Antony, J. (2018). Can Lean Six Sigma be used to reduce medication errors in the healthcare sector? Leadership in Health Services, 31(4), 426-433.
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