Nursing Informatics

Nursing Informatics Self Study- Six Sigma : Well-selected and -defined improvement projects equal better, faster results

What is Six Sigma?

  • A comprehensive and flexible system for achieving, sustaining and maximizing business success.
  • is uniquely driven by close understanding of customer needs, disciplined use of facts, data, and statistical analysis, and diligent attention to managing, improving, and reinventing business processes.
  • The goal of Six Sigma is to eliminate all defects
  • Six Sigma implies a goal of no more than 3.4 defects per 1 million opportunities
  • Six Sigma can be viewed as either a business strategy tool that is effective at identifying the areas that require change of a performance evaluation methodology examining the effectiveness of process modification for a company.

six sigma

The five-phase improvement process of Six Sigma: DMAIC

  • Define: define the problem/ opportunity, process, and customer requirements. define high-level project goals and the current process
    • Important tools used in this phase include a project charter, a description of customer requirements, process maps, and Voice of the Customer (VOC) data.
      • Examples of VOC data include complaints, surveys, comments, and market research that represent the views and needs of the organization’s customers
  • Measure: define measures and then collect, compile, and display data. measure key aspects of the current process and collect relevant data

    • Measures are defined in terms of defects per opportunity
  • Analyze: Scrutinize process details to find improvement opportunities. Analyze the data to verify cause -and -effect relationships. Determine what the relationships are, and attempt to ensure that all factors have been considered.
    • A project team working on a Six Sigma project, normally referred to as a Six Sigma team, investigates and verifies data to prove the suspected root causes of quality problems and substantiates the problem statement.
    • An important tool in this phase is to fishbone or Ishikawa diagram
  • Improve: Generate solutions and ideas for improving the problem. Improve or optimize the process based on data analysis using techniques such as design of experiments.
    • A final solution is verified with the project sponsor, and the Six Sigma team develops a plan to pilot test the solution.
    • The Six Sigma team reviews the results of the pilot test to refine the solution, if needed, and then implements the solution where appropriate
  • Control: Establish metrics to measure performance for ongoing feedback and take appropriate actions to address shortcomings of the process.  Track and verify the stability of the improvements and the predictability of the solution. Control to ensure that any deviations from the target are corrected before they result in defects. Set up pilot runs to establish process capability, move on to production, set up control mechanisms, and continuously monitor the process.
    • Control charts are one tool used in the control phase

The Six Sigma “belt” system:

  • Yellow Belt: receive the minimum level of training, which is normally two to three full days for project team members who work on Six Sigma projects on a part-time basis
  • Green Belt: usually participate in two to three full weeks of training
  • Black Belt: normally work on Six Sigma projects full-time and attend four to five full weeks of training. project managers are often Black Belts.
  • Master Black Belt: experienced Black Belts who act as technical resources and mentors to people with lower-level belts

Resource: Schwalbe, K. (2016) Information technology project management. (8th ed.)

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One thought on “Nursing Informatics Self Study- Six Sigma : Well-selected and -defined improvement projects equal better, faster results

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