Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare
12 October 2020
Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology aimed at promoting continuous improvement within organizations. In order to meet an increasing demand in care, the healthcare sector can utilize this methodology to streamline their processes, reducing waste and maximizing patient value in order to provide world-class care.
Organizational challenges in healthcare
These recent years the healthcare sector has met with numerous challenges, with many healthcare institutions now under fire for lack of quality, service and transparency. Many media outlets have expressed a negative attitude towards healthcare service providers that is often bordering hostility, criticizing them for being unable to meet the needs and standards of their patients.
The truth of the matter however, is that hospitals aren’t overwhelmed due to lack of skill, equipment or commitment to provide quality healthcare; in fact, these qualities tend to be the cornerstone and saving grace of nearly every healthcare provider. The real challenge, the core of the problem, lies in the way our services, systems and their underlying processes are designed.
Most healthcare services are built around treatment; providing high quality solutions to illnesses for their patients, and continually improving these processes, while focusing far less on how the delivery of these solutions is designed. Our modern healthcare processes are often outdated, still based on a way of working where the quality of their processes is emphasized, while the efficiency and effectiveness of their design is overlooked.
In the past, this was not a problem, but nowadays, with our population growing both in number and in needs, we have to find a way to adapt our processes so as to keep providing world-class care.
Lean Six Sigma
The way to do this is to implement a proven and data-driven methodology for process improvement, wherein attention is paid to streamlining processes in order to reduce waste and maximize patient value. Lean Six Sigma is one such methodology, and has already proven its success in the field; it has been implemented by hospitals throughout the world, such as the Virginia Mason Institute in the US or more recently, Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK.
Unlike some other methodologies, Lean Six Sigma is not intended purely for use by a few experts or consultants within an organization, but is designed to empower all staff, and involve them in bringing forth continuous improvement as a team. It is important that improving your processes isn’t something implemented top-down by management alone; it’s the people on the work floor, the ones directly involved with the patients, that should be involved, and who can truly make a difference in improving patient care.
Lean Six Sigma Essentials for Healthcare
It is to this end that we developed our Lean Six Sigma Healthcare Yellow Belt course, an online course on our e-learning platform that not only covers the principles and methods of Lean Six Sigma, but also translates these into practical application within a healthcare environment.
We developed this course together with The Lean Six Sigma Company, and maintained a close collaboration with Great Ormond Street Hospital, in order to provide practical examples and applications for healthcare and ensure the best possible quality for this course.
The course consists of 9 lessons and an exam, each of which should take around 20-30 minutes to complete. An advantage to this is that you can follow this course whenever and wherever you like, and don’t need to complete it in one sitting. We recognize that time is often in short supply, and learning shouldn’t be to the detriment of either your work or personal life.
Goal for Healthcare
The main goal of our Lean Six Sigma Essentials for Healthcare course is to help students adopt the Lean Six Sigma mindset of Continuous Improvement, which they will learn through a set of examples, methods and techniques. We offer advice and techniques on how to apply these in practice, so that you can contribute in elevating the quality of your healthcare to a higher level, and provide the patient with world-class care.