Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Introduction to This Blog

Lean Six Sigma in Medical PracticeWe all can agree that the world of the medical practice is changing rapidly. The moves to value based payment models, emphasis on quality, patient satisfaction, payment mechanism changes, evidence based medicine, and so much more are creating the need for today’s practice manager and the team to revise its focus. We no longer can do things “the way they have always been done!”

Here is where this blog will come into play. The goal is simple to share ideas and practical solutions with readers on what has been tried and worked or in some cases did not work in achieving the ultimate goal of every medical practice – meet patient expectations by providing the highest quality of care possible.

Peter Drucker said it best when he noted that for a business (the medical practice is a business!) to be successful you must first serve the customer, profits and financial success will follow. The principles behind the management theories of Lean and Six Sigma highlight the “Voice of the Customer”, VOC, as their cornerstone. Focus on meeting the customer needs on everything that is done, every task accomplished in the most efficient way and time, will lead to improved service to the customer.

In this blog, we will look at the principles of Lean Management and Sigma Magma. This may have already turned off some readers! Since these principles started in the manufacturing arena, they cannot nor do they apply to the medical practice. Please read on, I hope to convince you of just the opposite.

Let’s assume the patient has made the phone call and is now at the office prior to their appointment time. They will be checked in, move through triage, visit with the provider, immediate follow up activity as directed by the provider, and check out. This is basically a five-step cycle. If you think it through, each step is sequential and resembles an assembly line!

The first few posts will provide more detail and background on the principles of Lean and Six Sigma. Included will be some practical suggestions on applying those principles. It is hoped that readers will gain benefit from many of these posts and apply the concepts discussed in ways appropriate for their practices. Overtime, it is hoped that readers will share with the author their stories, which will be converted to more practical suggestions for others to attempt.

Remember the ultimate goal is to meet the VOC in a way that is satisfying and at the same time improves their individual health status.

photo credit: via photopin cc


  1. Yeah! What a great blog you have published.This is truly a great read for me. I like it and i will share it to others.
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  2. I admire your all efforts for this blog, keep sharing and updating us! Thanks for posting!

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