LSS in a Hospital - Int J Six Sigma and Competitive...

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Int. J. Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, Vol. 2, No. 4, 2006 377 Copyright © 2006 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. Lean Six Sigma in a hospital Jaap Van den Heuvel Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital, 6500 GS Nijmegen, The Netherlands E-mail: [email protected] Ronald J.M.M. Does* and Henk de Koning Institute for Business and Industrial Statistics, University of Amsterdam, Plantage Muidergracht 24, 1018 TV Amsterdam, The Netherlands E-mail: [email protected] E-mail: [email protected] *Corresponding author Abstract: Hospitals today face major challenges. Patients demand quality of care to be improved continuously. Health insurance companies demand the lowest possible prices. Lean Six Sigma is a programme that can help healthcare providers to achieve these (seemingly) conflicting goals. Lean Six Sigma is an integration of Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing, both quality improvement programmes originating from industry. Lean and Six Sigma are highly complementary. Six Sigma provides an integrated improvement approach that increases quality by reducing variation, defects, and costs. Lean adds tools that increases process throughput by eliminating waste. In healthcare faster means rapid access and no waiting times, while reducing defects means less complication. Increasing speed and reducing defects both lead to lower costs. Hence, Lean Six Sigma is an excellent tool to tackle present-day healthcare challenges. Keywords: hospital; lean manufacturing; Lean Six Sigma; Six Sigma. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Van den Heuvel, J., Does, R.J.M.M. and de Koning, H. (2006) ‘Lean Six Sigma in a hospital’, Int. J. Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage , Vol. 2, No. 4, pp.377–388. Biographical notes: Jaap Van den Heuvel was a General Manager of the Red Cross Hospital in Beverwijk, the Netherlands from 1997 to 2004. Currently, he is the President of the Board of the Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Van den Heuvel received his MD at the University of Leiden and his MBA at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Van den Heuvel also has working experience as an House Officer in several hospitals and as a management consultant. His PhD thesis will present the results of the implementation of ISO 9000 and Six Sigma in hospitals.
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378 J. van den Heuvel, R.J.M.M. Does and H. de Koning Ronald J.M.M. Does is a Professor in Industrial Statistics at the Department of Mathematics and Managing Director of the Institute for Business and Industrial Statistics of the University of Amsterdam. He received his MSc and PhD at the University of Leiden. Does has published eight books and more than 100 papers in the fields of management, mathematics, quality, psychometrics and statistics. He has implemented Lean Six Sigma in industry, service industry and healthcare.
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