Detroit Hospitals Embrace Six Sigma

Employees at St. John and Trinity Health Systems are implementing Six Sigma to cut cost and eliminate errors to improve their health care services.  Under the program, hospital workers make careful analysis of every aspect of care including patients experiences, length of stay, waiting times, and employee experiences.  The program blends a mix of green belts and black belts, having green belts maintain their current position, albeit with greater awareness and imput, while black belts work full time on effeciency and effectiveness.  The Detroit News Reports:

The Six Sigma crew at Trinity noticed lab technicians and doctors had no set way of communicating and were wasting time leaving paper and phone messages. The solution: have the doctors and the lab communicate by text message.

Across town, St. John Health has cut waiting times in the emergency room from 64 minutes to 42 minutes and has saved $5 million in less than two years. The number of patients who leave the emergency room without being seen has been halved.