Sigma Six In Healthcare: Healthcare Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Business - Management Type: Essay Paper: #33263347 Related Topics: Six Sigma, Rising Cost Of Health Care, Health Care Cost, Health Care Organization
Excerpt from Essay :

Healthcare: Six Sigma in Healthcare

In a competitive marketplace, success is dictated by one's ability to ensure that their customers are kept satisfied through zero-defect products and services. Six Sigma is a customer-driven management methodology that helps organizations realize this, and consequently, meet the expectations of their customers by reducing process variation. The program was developed by Motorola Inc., but is widely-associated with General Electric, and most firms have adopted it over the years based on the observed success of the latter. Well, the results have been varied -- for some, positive, and for others, not as expected; but why is this so? Tennant (2001) points out that the effective "application of Six Sigma requires an eclectic source of knowledge and skills, as well as a sound understanding of customer-centered process management" (p. xii). Towards this end, this text seeks to give insight into what Six Sigma really is, how it all began, how it could be implemented by healthcare organizations, and how these organizations stand to benefit from such implementation in the wake of rising healthcare costs, and increasing concern about the deteriorating...


In the 1920s, Walter Shewhart used this framework to develop a standard for measuring product variation, where he demonstrated that a product could only be considered normal if it fell within three sigma from the mean. Well, numerous other standards of measurement, including zero-defect, and Cpk were introduced in the years that followed, but the coinage of the term 'Six Sigma' is attributed to Bill Smith, who, working as an engineer at Motorola Inc. In the 1980s, demonstrated that a product would only fail to impress its end-user if it had defects that needed to be corrected or fixed at some point in the production process (Tennant, 2001). The company was at the time facing serious challenges and had its survival threatened by a high rate of internal failure, and a booming Japanese industry dealing in similar products. The Sigma approach was undertaken to reduce the frequency of defects in the final products by redesigning and improving the process of production. The underlying assumption was that if something was done right the first time, it was unlikely to…

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As Tennant (2001) points out, the concept of Six Sigma has evolved over the years; it no longer is a simple quality system like ISO and TQM, it actually is a way of conducting business - a methodology, a goal, a metric, a symbol, a philosophy -- it all depends on how you look at it.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Sigma Implementation

One primary advantage that Six Sigma enjoys over other techniques of quality control is that it is proactive. Well, Six Sigma can be defined

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