Implementing Lean Six Sigma Methodologies in the Radiology Department of a Hospital Healthcare System
Workman-Germann- J., Woodward-Hagg, H., (2006). Implementing Lean Six Sigma Methodologies in the Radiology Department of a Hospital Healthcare System. Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, June 2006.
Increased focus is being placed on the quality of care provided by Hospitals and Healthcare Systems around the country. Caught in the middle between tightening govenment standards, stricter compliance guidelines for insurance companies, and the basic mission to serve those in need with quality and compassion, hospitals are searching for ways to improve their processes and services for the benefit of all. CT (Computed Tomography - CAT Scan) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) services in the hospital radiology departments are revenue generating areas. The reimbursement rates for these services are very high, the scan times (especially in CT) are relatively low, and so the potential for additional revenue to the hospital comes with increasing patient capacity for these services. However, it is also a very competitive time for hospital radiology departments as many outpatient diagnostic centers are being built, drawing patients and physicians to their fast, efficient, no hassles approach to imaging. This brings additional hurdles to the already struggling hospitals. The Sisters of St. Francis Health Services (SSFHS) group enlisted the aid of faculty at IUPUI to address issues within their organization. The objectives were to imrpove key performance indicators directly tied to patient and physician satisfaction, improve and streamline CT/MR processes, increase the capacity to perform MT/MR services and regain a portion of the referral base lost ot outpatient diagnostic centers. To address these issues, Lean Six Sigma methodologies were implemented. This paper describes the initial results from project initiation.
radiology, Lean, Six Sigma, capacity
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