Patient Discharge Time Improvement by Using the Six Sigma Approach: A Case Study

Quality Engineering vol. 25 issue 4 - October 2013

Abstract: [This abstract is based on the authors' abstract.] Health care has become one of the most important industries in the world, employing 13.4 million people, generating 3.2 million new jobs, and employing professionals from 10 of the 20 fastest growing occupations. Health care is also becoming more expensive and so there is a critical need to increase the efficiency of the health care delivery process. In this article, we look at the patient discharge process at a hospital in Amman, Jordan, with the objective of minimizing the discharge time without significantly increasing costs. This was done by building a simulation model of the discharge process and then optimizing it with a designed experiment and response surface model. This resulted in a 57% improvement in patients being discharged in less time than the goal of 50 minutes.

Keywords: Case study; Six Sigma; Composite design; Design of experiments (DOE); Health care; Hospitals; Process improvement; Response surface methodology (RSM); Patient Flow; Healthcare industry

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