Fifteen years ago, I felt very lonely in quality improvement meetings. Usually, I was the only one with training in Lean Six Sigma and would patiently think "If you don't have data, you just have an opinion." I would pleasantly smile (yet wince on the inside) when dashboards had bright colors of green for good and red for bad when in fact significance testing showed there was really no difference in just how bad (or good) the system involved ever was. I would silently facilitate (and subtly work toward) using an adequate sample to see how the process was actually doing, and, after changes, using the appropriate statistical test to see if we'd actually made an improvement.
Thank God, now, I'm no longer alone! Look here. Lean Six Sigma is now busier than ever in healthcare, and time has demonstrated more and more that the robust tools of statistical process control, applied correctly, can really help us in healthcare....even when we tend to imagine the exception to how the proposed change may help our system! Wonder if Lean Six Sigma methods can help with your healthcare quality issue? Say hello to The Lab!
As I've shared before, recent analysis at the Minitab blog indicates that the number of studies in Lean & Six Sigma for Healthcare is on the rise. (I'll be speaking about how the lack of these important tools helps account for "The Troubled Story Of Healthcare Metrics" and other topics, along with leaders across multiple industries, at the Minitab conference September 11-12 in Philadelphia...stop by and say hello!)
Lean Six Sigma is thriving in healthcare, a distinct change from two decades ago, when the performance improvement methodologies were first introduced to the industry. When Marti Beltz, a healthcare instructor with the American Society for Quality in Milwaukee, started applying Lean Six Sigma to healthcare fifteen years years ago, she says there were no books, no conferences and even no curriculum dedicated to the field. Now, there are dozens.