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Using Six Sigma Approach For Reducing Transfer Times From Emergency Rooms

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Using Six Sigma Approach to Reduce Transfer Times from Emergency Room to Inpatient Bed in a Community Hospital
Introduction
Waiting time has been perceived as a way of measuring quality of service within a health care facility. Long wait times in the emergency room has been identified as the main cause for patients leaving the system before receiving any treatment and decreased patient satisfaction (Majid, Suradi & Sabri, 2013). Patient’s perspectives on hospital care are currently measured by national standardized survey instrument called the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). The Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services uses HCAHPS as a tool to analyze hospitals quality performance (Bleustein et
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At our hospital, transfer delays beyond 8 hours were uncommon and result in decrease patient, family and staff satisfaction. In a teaching community hospital in Washington D.C has continued to struggle with long wait times of patients in the emergency room and delay inpatient admission process. Patients and families continue to express their concerns to nurses and management team of how long it took for them to get a bed after being informed that they were being admitted. In recognition of this work flow concerns lead to the quality improvement project using a process proven methodology. For this reason, this paper will describe the use of Six Sigma management theory to reduce inpatient non-ICU admission wait times in a teaching community hospital, in Washington D.C.
Six Sigma Approach The Six Sigma methodology can be described as a management philosophy that focuses on developing and delivering near perfect products services. The approach uses the DMAIC structure and a set of improvement tools to identity causes of variation and to develop improvement strategies that reduce opportunities for defects and variation in process (Galli & Handley, 2014). DMAIC is the acronym for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. The central idea behind Six Sigma is that if the defects of a process can be measured, then solutions
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