Article Revised: March 28, 2019
We’ve recently discussed how Lean Six Sigma can make a difference in the healthcare industry by reducing wait times in the emergency department and improving patient flow, but a group of hospitals in Indiana is proving that Lean Six Sigma has even broader benefits. The Indiana Hospital Association recently praised patient safety efforts at Franciscan Healthcare-Munster, one of 116 Indiana hospitals that has successfully employed Lean Six Sigma training to improve patient safety.
This state-wide patient safety initiative, known as Coalition for Care, has been a collaborative effort between the Indiana Hospital Association (IHA), the American Hospital Association’s Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET), and the 116 participating hospitals. IHA and HRET offered education sessions and training for representatives from each hospital, focusing on topics such as readmission, patient falls, and patient and family engagement.
Lean Six Sigma training was an integral part of this educational initiative. During the three years of collaboration, 176 Lean Six Sigma black belts were trained. These trainees learned how to reduce inefficiencies and improve processes, enabling them to optimize patient care.
By employing the techniques learned through Coalition for Care over the past three years, Franciscan Healthcare-Munster has reduced patient harm by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent. Reflecting on the success at Franciscan Healthcare-Munster, Indiana Hospital Association president Doug Leonard noted:
This is proof that efforts to identify harms and reduce readmissions are working. Our hospitals should be commended for their continued commitment to improving patient care. Indiana hospitals have had many accomplishments in the past three years, and will continue this work in 2015 to improve the overall health and well-being of our state.
These Indiana hospitals are having real success thanks to Lean Six Sigma. Convinced that Lean Six Sigma training can benefit your healthcare organization, too?