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Getting Started

Getting started in Lean-Six Sigma can be easier than you think.  The key is to avoid common mistakes regarding the application of advanced quality methods in healthcare.  Healthcare executives frequently believe that it’s all about “the tools of Lean or Six Sigma.”  They rush out to hire the experts.  They spend considerable financial resources and manpower only to be disappointed in their results in coming months and years.  Many organizations believe that they must train everyone in the organization and that it will take years before they can start seeing the results of their effort.

The truth is that you can achieve meaningful results in less than 100 days if you follow certain principles and put the proper organizational structures in place.  CBA has invested considerable time and resources to identify the attributes of hospitals that have successfully introduced advanced quality methods and achieve excellent results.  While these elements have no direct connection to Lean-Six Sigma, structures that drive accountability, promote a bias toward action, and lessen resistance to change have everything to do with success.  These structural components include:

  • Understanding the four non-delegable roles of senior leaders
  • Building a strong Accountability Systems
  • Incorporating a uniform change model that promotes speed
  • Achieving strategic focus versus a project by project approach

Below is a summary of CBA's published research on the principles and methods followed by the nation's top performing hospitals. It elaborates on several of these key issues. In addition, there is a link to an article which appeared in Frontier Magazine. The article chronicles Floyd Regional Medical Center's journey into Lean-Six Sigma and how they achieved more than $14 million dollars of tangible gains while transforming their organization's quality system.