Striving for Perfection
You may be asking, "What is Six Sigma?" Simply put, it is a method used to improve quality. This method is unique, because it uses such a highly disciplined approach. More importantly, it has a lofty goal: to improve processes to make them as near perfect as possible. It involves questioning the way everything is done. It means that "good" is not good enough and "better" may not be the best.
Six Sigma at Deaconess
Beginning in July 2003, Deaconess Health System began ongoing training of leadership and staff to use rigorous Six Sigma methods including DMAIC, Lean Change Acceleration Process, and Work-Out ™.
Six Sigma Method
DMAIC - Rigorous, data driven problem solving approach; DMAIC is used to improve existing processes and stands for the following steps:
Define - the problem or the issue that can be improved
Measure - current practices and/or results
Analyze - all data for key relationships
Improve - by implementing changes to the process
Control - the improved process using measurement
Lean - Improvement strategy that focuses on identifying and eliminating waste and non-value added work in processes.
Change Acceleration Process ("CAP") - Process for effectively implementing and sustaining change. Process uses tools to build acceptance and overcome resistance.
Work-Out ™ - Well planned and facilitated working session used to develop solutions by the frontline staff that can be rapidly implemented.
Six Sigma projects improve patient care.
Recently, Six Sigma pojects have improved patient care in the following ways.
Emergency Department bed placement
Patient Financial Services - decrease in denials due to authorization
Designed process to use Low Dose CT scanning
Radiology Outpatient scheduling and authorization