Medical XPress recently reported that researchers believe the application of Lean Six Sigma principles in rural hospitals in India will shorten patient queues by 91 percent and reduce consultation time by a third. Given the limited resources of hospitals in the country and the numbers of people who enter them, Lean Six Sigma has the potential to significantly improve health care in this and other developing countries.

The researchers, from St. Joseph Engineering College in Karnataka, India, applied the Lean Six Sigma principles of define, measure, analyze, improve and control to an Indian hospital in order to improve the quality of patient care there, the article stated. The approach not only improved health care, but also the handling of medical records and the patient’s progress from the front door to the treatment room to discharge with relevant medical information and prescriptions. Lean Six Sigma was also used to uncover employee morale issues, as well as problems with training and administration.

Management at the hospital stated that the issues that were discovered through the implementation of Lean Six Sigma were a real eye-opener, and that it brought a complete change to the environment of the hospital. Everyone was pushing for excellence, they said. The results of the research were recently published in the International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management.

From manufacturing to military to health care, companies and organizations around the world are turning to Lean Six Sigma. Why? Because it works.

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