A continuous process improvement process begins with a desire to work on a reduction of non-conformance costs in an organization, by first defining the problem(s), then using a cause and effect analysis to determine causes of problem(s), and then working to rid the low hanging fruit (CSU-Global, 2016). Six Sigma can be successfully incorporated into such a plan with the repeated, disciplined application of the master strategy on project after project (Kerzner, 2013). Following a systematic methodology results in a reduced amount of defects, producing higher quality work, saving on man-hours and other expenses, increasing overall customer satisfaction (Gijo, Scaria, & Anothny, 2011).
Six Sigma metrics include the defect rate, sigma level, process efficiency, and process capability, as measurements for areas which require some process improvement (LabCE, 2016). Kerzner (2013) identifies that often the chosen systematic method to pursue is known as DMAIC, which stands for define, measure, analyze, improve, and control, which leads to reduced defects that are defined by the customer of the particular process. Defects are best identified through this process, a...
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...process, resulting in a reallocation of a 0.5 FTE medical records staff, further proving the necessity of continuous process improvement (Kirkland, 2014).
With economic pressure, and increasing reporting requirements, healthcare providers in-particular are compelled to master and use the techniques of Six Sigma, to survive, and to potentially gain the competitive advantage (Kirkland, 2014). Improved quality is a result of working through a method where every process is studied and constantly improved so that the final product not only meets but exceeds customer expectations (Kerzner, 2013). Obtaining a positive return on investment requires improving quality, decreasing costs, improving productivity, decreasing prices, and increasing market share (Kerzner, 2013). Six Sigma, when incorporated properly can prove to be effective process improvement tool.
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