Using Six Sigma in the Operating Room

Using Six Sigma in the Operating Room

posted in: Quality Highlights, Six Sigma | 0

Many healthcare organizations are using Six Sigma to boost quality, throughput and the bottom line in the operating room, according to an article by Carolyn Pexton at

Hospitals have implemented Six Sigma projects in operating rooms to:

  • improve the start times of their first cases to ensure the rest of the cases stay on schedule
  • optimize technologies
  • improve room turnover times
  • ensure appropriate scheduling
  • improve admissions/registration processes

To enable operating rooms to operate more efficiently and achieve sustainable improvements, hospitals must look for bottlenecks and errors by collecting and analyzing valid data using rigorous statistical tools, the article notes.

Hospitals have effectively used Six Sigma and Lean methodologies to significantly save money and enhance quality in their operating rooms. To provide better, more efficient and more cost-effective environments for patients before, during and after their operations, hospitals must start “by analyzing the current state and identifying the best opportunities for improvement,” according to iSixSigma.

A project team can do that by applying Lean tools in conjunction with the Six Sigma DMAIC approach (define, measure, analyze, improve, control). Using this approach, The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota increased OR efficiency and financial performance across an entire operating suite.

Read the full article here

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