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    Process Improvement Tools

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    Several process improvement tools have been reviewed including Six Sigma, TQM, and Lean. Which process improvement tool will have the greatest effect on improving processes in your organization? Provide specific examples.

    Create a fake organization and use a tool which will have the greatest effect.

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    Process Improvement Tools Solution

    I would start off with the definitions:
    1. Definitions
    Six Sigma
    Six Sigma, introduced by engineer Bill Smith (Motorola) refers to techniques and tools used for process improvement by identifying and removing defects in order to reduce variability in the way business processes are performed.(Wikipedia).According to isixsigma,"Six Sigma" is a statistical measurement reflecting how well a product or process is performing. Higher sigma values indicate better performance, while lower values indicate a greater number of defects per unit.

    Total Quality Management
    Total quality management can be summarized as a management system for a customer-focused organization that involves all employees in continual improvement. It uses strategy, data, and effective communications to integrate the quality discipline into the culture and activities of the organization. (American Society for Quality)

    Lean refers to a system of techniques and activities for running a service operation that are guided by the elimination of all non-value-adding activities and waste from the business. The types of wastes include overproduction, waiting, time in queue, transportation, non-value-adding processes, inventory, motion and costs of quality: scrap, rework and inspection. (ASQ)

    2. Which process improvement tool will have the greatest effect on improving processes in your organization? Provide specific examples.

    Looking at these definitions, Six Sigma would have the greatest effect on improving processes in my healthcare organization because it uses data analysis and statistics to improve business quality.
    In healthcare, Six Sigma has been shown to improve patient care by the following: (http://www.villanovau.com/resources/six-sigma/six-sigma-improving-healthcare/#.VzGJTuQWraI):
    • Reducing the number of errors made by physicians, nurses and technicians
    • Improving lab turnaround times
    • Reducing appointment wait times
    • Decreasing steps in the supply chain
    • Accelerating reimbursement for insurance claims
    • Improving patient outcomes

    Specific examples of Healthcare organizations that have successfully used Six Sigma include the following
    • Mount Carmel Health System: Two years of Six Sigma projects focused on operational issues and ...

    Solution Summary

    Six Sigma, TQM and Lean are all quality tools which can have a great impact in improving organizational process improvement initiatives. This solution identifies one of these tools with the greatest effect in healthcare process improvement. A hypothetical organization case study is included to illustrate the application of the selected tool in healthcare. References have been cited for the student's ease of reference.