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Dutch Hospital Implements Six Sigma

Summary: In addition to being a general healthcare provider, Red Cross Hospital in Beverwijk, the Netherlands, maintains a 25-bed national burn care center that serves the entire country. During the past four years, management and staff have been building a quality assurance system, and in 2002 it was awarded ISO 9002 certification. Since then there have been ongoing quality improvement projects, but they were done without the benefit of a Six Sigma project management system. Six Sigma offered a number of quality management techniques that could solve the hospital's problems, but some of its concept had to be tailored to better apply to the healthcare industry. Six Sigma was well received by employees, and its data driven approach was helpful in establishing support during implementation of the results. The six projects completed in February 2003 illustrate a $25,000 minimum level of revenue per project can easily be met, and larger amounts are also possible. The hospital will continue to use Six Sigma and ISO 9000 as the core of its quality management system.

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