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Case Study
  • Healthcare
  • Open Access

Discretion Advised

Publication:
Six Sigma Forum Magazine
Date:
November 2017
Issue:
Volume 17 Issue 1
Pages:
pp. 5-16
Author(s):
Pinkus, Matthew; Adler, Mitchell A., MD; Rieblin, Nancy;
Organization(s):
Northwell Health, Northwell Health Physician Partners, Great Neck, NY

Abstract

The healthcare industry currently requires accurate reporting of quality measures. However, several factors affect the accurate extraction of discrete data from the electronic health record (EHR). This case study addresses the issue by using Six Sigma methodology to analyze the process of producing quality data from the medical record, which involved both manual and automated methods. The main factors affecting quality reporting that were identified by the Six Sigma team were 1) lack of data entry standardization across the healthcare organization; 2) lack of employee training and education on the EHR system; 3) non-discrete documentation of patient data saved time initially but resulted in inefficient data extraction in the forward flow; and 4) the EHR was not as efficient as it could be in capturing discrete data. After analyzing the root causes of these issues, the Six Sigma team was able to identify solutions, as well as metrics to gauge the effectiveness of the process improvement phase.

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