Dr. Harrington

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The Definitive Six Sigma Guide for Healthcare: Methodologies, Tools, and Metrics

Rising costs are making healthcare unaffordable for millions, and 100,000 people die every year due to medical error. Healthcare must change—dramatically. Many leading healthcare institutions are discovering a powerful toolset for addressing both quality and cost: Six Sigma. In this hands-on, start-to-finish guidebook, four leading experts introduce Six Sigma from the unique standpoint of the healthcare professional, showing exactly how to implement it in real-world environments.

Drawing on their unsurpassed experience, the authors offer step-by-step methodologies, tools, and metrics—all thoroughly adapted to the unique realities of healthcare. They demonstrate how to utilize Six Sigma’s Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) process to address even the most challenging problems. They also offer realistic guidance on rolling out Six Sigma initiatives that deliver rapid and sustainable value.

The authors show Six Sigma at work in every area of the hospital: clinical, radiology, surgery, ICU, cardiovascular, laboratories, emergency, trauma, administrative services, staffing, billing, cafeteria, even central supply. You'll learn why Six Sigma can produce better results than other quality initiatives, how it brings new rigor and discipline to healthcare delivery, and how it can be used to sustain ongoing improvements for the long term.

Coverage includes:

  • Adapting Six Sigma methodology, tools, and measurements for healthcare
  • Designing more successful experiments
  • Rolling out your Six Sigma initiative successfully
  • Case studies from every area of the hospital, from the ICU to billing
  • Six Sigma templates modified fully for the healthcare environment

Comprehensive and user-friendly, this book will be indispensable to everyone concerned with quality or cost: administrators, managers, physicians, and quality specialists alike. Where Six Sigma is already in use or being considered, it will serve as a shared blueprint for the entire team.


Foreword xx

Introduction xxi

Part I: The Need for Cutting Costs and Improving Quality in Healthcare 1

  • Chapter 1 Trends in the Healthcare Industry 3
  • Chapter 2 Excellence (Benchmarks) and Improvement Challenges in the Healthcare System 21
  • Chapter 3 Applicability of Six Sigma in Healthcare Organizations 31

Part II: Methodology, Tools, and Measurements 59

  • Chapter 4 The Healthcare Opportunity 61
  • Chapter 5 Six Sigma Methodology 77
  • Chapter 6 Understanding Problems: Define, Measure, and Analyze 89
  • Chapter 7 Solving Problems: Improve and Control 129

Part III: Benefiting from Six Sigma 161

  • Chapter 8 Case Study Introduction and Profiles 163
  • Chapter 9 Clinical Case Studies 181
  • Chapter 10 Operational Case Studies 203

Part IV: Rolling Out and Sustaining Six Sigma 239

  • Chapter 11 Implementing a Six Sigma Culture 241
  • Chapter 12 Lean Six Sigma in Healthcare 373
  • Chapter 13 The Road Ahead 401

Part V: Appendixes 431

  • Appendix A PMBOK Tools and Techniques 433
  • Appendix B The Six Sigma Body of Knowledge 437
  • Appendix D Total Six Sigma Tools Self-Evaluation Form 44
  • Appendix D Additional Resources 451
  • Appendix E The Man I Want To Be! 453

Index 455

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