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Quality Quandaries: Health Care Quality—Reducing the Length of Stay at a Hospital

Summary: Dramatic increases in the cost of health care in the United States and Europe show that health care management has failed to keep up with the advancements made by the medical profession. A significant part of the cost increases can be attributed to health care organizations’ failure to implement modern management principles. The quality profession can help alleviate some of these problems with the application of quality engineering concepts and methods to both the clinical and operational aspects of health care. An example demonstrates the application of Lean Six Sigma in a case study concerning the reduction of the length of stay of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The study illustrates that there are no trade-offs between quality and cost in health care. Quality can be improved while at the same time costs can be reduced.

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  • Topics: Lean, Six Sigma
  • Keywords: Health care, Healthcare industry, Cost management, Quality improvement (QI), Quality management principles, Six Sigma
  • Author: Bisgaard, Soren; Does, Ronald J. M. M.
  • Journal: Quality Engineering