Lean, Six Sigma management becoming more popular at hospitals

A new study has concluded the U.S. hospitals are beginning to embrace Lean and Six Sigma business management strategies to cut costs and boost productivity, despite there currently being little evidence as of yet that these strategies are effective. Lean management focuses on removing waste from companies and processes, while delivering added value to customers. Six Sigma, meanwhile, is to reduce variations in processes, products and services.

The study, from the American Society for Quality, included 77 hospitals. Researchers concluded that 53 percent of hospitals reported some level of Lean deployment, while 42 percent reported some level of Six Sigma deployment. Not surprisingly, given the gradual evolution of these practices in hospitals, only 4 percent reported "full deployment" of Lean, and only 8 percent full deployment of Six Sigma.

Where hospitals had not deployed either method, reasons included a need for more resources (59 percent), lack of information (41 percent) and lack of leadership buy-in (30 percent). Another 11 percent of hospitals surveyed weren't familiar with either strategy.

Get more information on the survey:
- read this Healthcare Finance News piece

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