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Improving the Hospital Discharge Process with Six Sigma Methods

Summary: [This abstract is based on the authors' abstract.] A case study describes how a community hospital applied a Six Sigma define, measure, analyze, and control approach to improve patient discharge. The team used statistical process control charting, process mapping, Pareto charting, and cause-and-effect matrices in the decision-making process. Results showed the greatest impact could be achieved by focusing on physicians’ discharge order-writing. In addition to improved discharge time rates, missing chart data was reduced by 63%.

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  • Topics: Six Sigma, Problem Solving, Design of Experiments
  • Keywords: Healthcare industry, Case study, Process improvement, Cause and effect analysis, Six Sigma, DMAIC, Control charts, Individuals charts, Pareto charts, Moving range control charts
  • Author: Allen, Theodore T.; Tseng, Shih-Hsien; Swanson, Kerry; McClay, Mary Ann
  • Journal: Quality Engineering