Article | March 22, 2022

Maximize ROI and Quality Improvement Through Lean Six Sigma Methodology

The Current Environment

In 2009, Press Ganey found that Emergency Room turnaround time still averages over four hours, basically unchanged over the past decade. Robert Wood Johnson Hospital (RWJ) in New Jersey, a 2004 Baldrige Award winner, offers a 30-minute door-to-doctor guarantee for patients visiting their Emergency Room. This was accomplished by systematically eliminating the delays between registration, triage, examination, lab, imaging, and discharge or admission/transport. Whether we are identifying countermeasures to reach zero defects on wrong dosage errors or eliminating resubmission of denied claims, the Kohler HealthCare Consulting team achieves results driven improvements in quality performance and ROI.

Our Approach to Providing Assistance

Is 99% accuracy good enough? Or should you strive for Six Sigma, where 99.9997% of the products/services you produce are statistically expected to be free of defects? Defects could include hospital acquired infections, wasted units of blood, avoidable patient days and discharge delays, errors on claims, patient falls, or co-pays not collected at time of service.

Kohler HealthCare Consulting offers experienced health care professionals with the necessary tools to assist hospitals and other providers in evaluating, measuring and monitoring processes, procedures and systems that result in most medical mistakes and errors. Our work is a fact-based, data-driven philosophy of quality improvement that values defect prevention over defect detection. It drives customer satisfaction and bottom-line results by reducing variation and waste, thereby promoting a competitive advantage. It applies anywhere variation and waste exist. In simple terms, Six Sigma quality performance means no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities.

What Does That Mean To Your Hospital?

At a Three Sigma level nearly 1,350 incorrect surgical operations would happen per week nationally. At a Six Sigma level there would be one incorrect surgical operation in 20 years. Some examples of Lean Six Sigma quality improvements and ROI returns for a 395 bed hospital are:

  • Obtained a $200K ROI on evaluating the appropriateness of ICU admissions
  • Reduced contaminated blood samples—$30K to $50K ROI
  • Optimized Skilled Nursing Unit RUGS at—$90K ROI

Other examples of process improvements are:

  • Reduced the wait time for an appointment in an outpatient client from four months to two weeks
  • Increased the accuracy of Emergency Room registration data by 40%
  • Obtained a 75% reduction in medical necessity coding and billing issues in a 90 physician multispecialty group.