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Quality Quandaries: Shortening the Throughput Time of a Hospital's Billing Process

Summary: In this column, the authors present an application of the Lean Six Sigma methodology to a real-life problem, namely, shortening the throughput time of the billing process of a Dutch hospital. In The Netherlands, the health care system is growing toward a free-market system in which hospitals and other care providers can compete with each other in terms of price and quality. It is therefore becoming increasingly important for such organizations to operate on a more efficient basis and achieve a higher quality. As a consequence, the early 21st century has seen numerous health care organizations embrace a range of methods for improving business processes. This article focuses on the application of Lean Six Sigma, a combination of the Six Sigma methodology and Lean best practices. The authors conclude that Lean Six Sigma is a suitable method not only for manufacturing processes but for other key organization processes as well.

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  • Topics: Six Sigma
  • Keywords: DMAIC, Six Sigma, Case study, Hospitals, Healthcare industry, Process improvement, Best practices, Key process
  • Author: Schoonhoven, Marit; Lubbers, Caroline; Does, Ronald J. M. M.
  • Journal: Quality Engineering