Lean Six Sigma in Health Care Industry

Lean Six Sigma Methodologies: How do they improve the Health Care Industry

The impact of the Six Sigma methodology has not left the healthcare industry untouched. When many manufacturing and other service industry manifolded their achievement rate with the help of the Six Sigma methodology and tools, the healthcare industry too played its dice and achieved success.

Six Sigma methodologies have an inevitable role in the healthcare industry. As per some recent studies, it was found that more than 50% works in the health care industry were defined as waste. It was also found that the cost of those wastes in the healthcare industry was nearly about $1000 billion.

The Lean Six Sigma methodology helped the healthcare industry with some proven tools to recognize and measure the loopholes of a business process.

Major Wastes Defined by Six Sigma Methodology in the Health Care Industry.

There are multiple works in the health care industry. Every job has the intervention of more people and teams. Thus, the possibilities of making an error are more in healthcare. In many cases, it was found that most of the healthcare industry forget the reinforcement of their patients after they are discharged and went back home. In most of the cases, where the patients needed to re-admitted to the hospital opt from some other organization because of the lack of communication between the hospital and the patient,

Six Sigma has shown its effort to improve many facets of the healthcare industry by:

  • Reducing the possibilities of errors made by healthcare professionals like surgeons, nurses, doctors, and other technical staffs.

  • Improving the turnaround time, it takes in the laboratory

  • Reducing the time of waiting a patient needs to have for visiting the doctor.

  • Decreasing the steps in the supply chain within the hospital

  • Fast-tracking the reimbursements of the insurance claims of the patients.

  • Improving the outcomes of the patients after the surgery.

The Benefits of Six Sigma in the Healthcare Industry

If the healthcare industry can understand the expectations of their patients, the quality delivered by then can get improved. In the way, the organization can be able to provide better care to their patients. Six Sigma methodology has impacted the healthcare industry in many ways. Taken from the management of the healthcare industry, operations to the healthcare of the patient- Six Sigma has increased the quality while reducing the cost of the sector.

Taken from helping the industry to use its resources appropriately to reduce the turnaround time in the laboratory, Six Sigma has found many places where the cost can be diminished, and the wastes can be removed permanently.

Since the last few years, many healthcare projects are applying Six Sigma to their business process. The majority of the projects said that they have seen a significant improvement in the scores they get from their patients during their surveys.

Case Studies of Healthcare Organizations Using Six Sigma Methodologies

Here are some healthcare organizations who have successfully implemented the Six Sigma methodology and improved their business process.

Mount Carmel Health System: This organization has faced many operational issues in its business management process. The Six Sigma methodology has helped them to save around $3.1 million. The organization has achieved a noticeable improvement in their employee satisfaction and in the satisfaction rate of their physicians.

Boston Medical Centre: The healthcare company sought for improvement in their business process and wanted to bring cost-saving. The company achieved an increased revenue of $2.2 million.

Rapides Regional Medical Center: The company was facing many issues in its emergency department. Six Sigma helped them to reduce the wastes in the emergency procedures. The wait time of shifting the patients from the emergency ward to the general ward got declined. The hospital saved more than $ 1 million annually after applying Six Sigma.

Valley Baptist Health System: The organization used Six Sigma methodology to reduce the surgery cycle time it used to take previously. The company was also able to add more than 1100 new cases when the surgery time got reduced and their potential income got increased by $1.3 million.


TAKEAWAY: Lean Six Sigma is a well-managed process for executing innovative healthcare projects while reducing the cost and the waste from the business process. It is found that citizens are able to pay for quality health care when there are efficient services.