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Lean Six-Sigma: the means to healing an ailing NHS?

Lean Six-Sigma: the means to healing an ailing NHS? PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine England’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) arm of the National Health Service (NHS). It considers the positive impact that Lean has had and Six-Sigma can have in A&E departments to improve the quality and reliability of the service offered, in an area that is facing performance challenges.Design/methodology/approachIndependent variables average monthly temperature data (degrees Celsius) obtained from the Met Office and weekly A&E data, patient volume is analysed alongside the dependent variable, the percentage of patients seen in 4 h or less.FindingsThe model produced a robust positive impact when Lean Six-Sigma is adopted, increasing the likelihood of A&E dependents meeting their performance objective to see and treat patients in 4 h or less.Research limitations/implicationsFurther variables such as staffing levels, A&E admission type should be considered in future studies. Additionally, it would add further clarity to analyse hospitals and trusts individually, to gauge which are struggling.Practical implicationsShould the NHS further its understanding and adoption of Lean Six-Sigma, it is believed this could have significant improvements in productivity, patient care and cost reduction.Social implicationsProductivity improvements will allow the NHS to do more with an equal amount of funding, therefore improving capacity and patient care.Originality/valueThrough observing A&E and its ability to treat patients in a timely fashion it is clear the NHS is struggling to meet its performance objectives, the recommendation of Six-Sigma in A&E should improve the reliability and quality of care offered to patients. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management Emerald Publishing

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References (24)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0265-671X
DOI
10.1108/IJQRM-01-2017-0006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine England’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) arm of the National Health Service (NHS). It considers the positive impact that Lean has had and Six-Sigma can have in A&E departments to improve the quality and reliability of the service offered, in an area that is facing performance challenges.Design/methodology/approachIndependent variables average monthly temperature data (degrees Celsius) obtained from the Met Office and weekly A&E data, patient volume is analysed alongside the dependent variable, the percentage of patients seen in 4 h or less.FindingsThe model produced a robust positive impact when Lean Six-Sigma is adopted, increasing the likelihood of A&E dependents meeting their performance objective to see and treat patients in 4 h or less.Research limitations/implicationsFurther variables such as staffing levels, A&E admission type should be considered in future studies. Additionally, it would add further clarity to analyse hospitals and trusts individually, to gauge which are struggling.Practical implicationsShould the NHS further its understanding and adoption of Lean Six-Sigma, it is believed this could have significant improvements in productivity, patient care and cost reduction.Social implicationsProductivity improvements will allow the NHS to do more with an equal amount of funding, therefore improving capacity and patient care.Originality/valueThrough observing A&E and its ability to treat patients in a timely fashion it is clear the NHS is struggling to meet its performance objectives, the recommendation of Six-Sigma in A&E should improve the reliability and quality of care offered to patients.

Journal

International Journal of Quality & Reliability ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 1, 2018

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