How Lean and Six Sigma Is Improving Health Care by Reducing Errors

In a recent interview for Business Innovators Magazine, Dr. David Kashmer explained how Lean and Six Sigma is improving health care by reducing errors. While quality of life and life expectancy have increased due to modern medical advances, Kashmer explained, the technology of medicine has grown more complex. Currently 40,000 to 100,000 deaths occur due to medical errors in the United States each year, said Kashmer. However, by focusing on quality as part of the bottom line — a driving principle of Lean Six Sigma — it is possible to reduce the number of errors.

The foundation of Lean Six Sigma has been around in the manufacturing industry since post-World War II Japan. But the principles still apply. The beauty of Lean Six Sigma, Kashmer stated, is that the methodology is “pre-packaged.” It has already been tested and proven to work. By striving for the Six Sigma target rate of 3.4 defects or less in every one million chances for a defect, Kashmer — a surgeon as well as a health care quality strategist — has seen several health care systems go from the typical rate of defects to a much, much lower number.

In fact, Kashmer stated, once you see what systems are able to do when they apply statistical process control methods such as those found in Lean Six Sigma, “it’s really unbelievable.” He has even seen some systems around the country go to a completely error free outcome by revamping their processes.

Are you ready to apply a tried and true method of process improvement to your business? Are you ready to offer higher quality services to the people you serve while keeping with your bottom line? Lean Six Sigma can do that. For more information, contact us.

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