A Lean Six Sigma Case Study
If you want to prosper for a year, grow rice. If you want to prosper for a decade, plant trees and
you want to prosper for a century, grow people — a wise old farmer reflecting back on a life
of toil in the soil
The following Lean Six Sigma case study will reflect a real-life healthcare problem with
Continuous Improvement and Lean Six Sigma Tools to show how some of the tools are put into
place in the real world. You will be required to complete the project along with some analysis
for each section.
Student Case Study
Process Improvement – Reduction in Wait Time for Patients in a Doctor Office
Executive Summary Dr. Deasley is a popular Doctor in Tampa, Florida specializing in primary care. He spends a great deal of time with each of his patients, typically, 45 minutes to one (1) hour. Dr. Deasley’s patients and staff love him for his patience and attention. However, there are many other patients waiting in the waiting room who become impatient at the long wait time.
Dr. Deasley’s office hours are 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM Monday through Friday. He conducts patient call backs between patients, during his lunch hour and after office hours. We triage the calls so he gets back to more seriously sick patients first. However, sometimes he doesn’t call back non-emergencies until the next AM. Dr. Deasley becomes overbooked because he likes to have 10 patients scheduled per day. However, he frequently needs to rebook patients he is unable to see due to time constraints. As a result, several long-term patients have been leaving his practice.
This has resulted in a decrease in revenue for the office. In addition, his office is experiencing a rather high rate of staff turnover. Staff are responsible for booking patients and managing the workflow in the office. When backlogs occur and patients become annoyed about wait times, the staff usually experience the brunt of the patient dissatisfaction, which effects staff morale. Each time the office hires replacement staff, it takes a significant amount of time to train new employees and it is costly to advertise and recruit competent staff. Dr. Deasley is very concerned about both his patients and staff.
His Office Manager, Ms. Smith, who recently was employed at Memorial Hospital of Tampa, participated in several Continuous Improvement Projects at the hospital. She is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. As a result, Ms. Smith has suggested a plan to the doctor to conduct a Lean Six Sigma project with the objective of Reducing Patient Wait Time and Improving Office Workflow. Ms. Smith explained the project improvements and objectives. Dr. Deasley has approved the project. As an initial step, the Office Manager has established her team.
Each employee has a role in the project. Based on patient complaints and the doctor’s requirements, they have some initial Voice of Customer (VOC). Patients would like to see the Doctor within 10 minutes of arriving and spend no more than 30 minutes in the office total for routine visits. The Doctor would like to see 15 patients per day. These changes need to be made within 3 months in order to minimize patient dissatisfaction, stop patients leaving the practice due to long wait times and rescheduling and improve employee morale and retention.
Six Sigma Green Belt
Define Please fill out the project charter. Write the Goal Statement utilizing S.M.A.R.T. objectives
(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound): Please complete a High Level “As Is” Process Map. Please create a SIPOC of the process based on the information that you know. Feel free to use
your imagination for this. Describe methods for collecting Voice of the Customer. (SEE APPENDIX A for VOC) Please create an Affinity Diagram or List based on VOC so you can identify Customer “NEEDS”
for CTQ Tree Please create a Critical to Quality Tree utilizing the Voice of the Customer. Identify the Needs,
PROJECT CHARTER (PC)
Drivers and Requirements or Metric to needed to meet these needs
Conclusion of Define: The output of the DEFINE stage is a PROJECT CHARTER (PC) and identified stakeholders. The PC shall include a Problem Statement with Goals utilizing S.M.A.R.T. methodology to address the problems identified. The Goal will be aligned with the customer CTQ Requirements. A clearly defines SCOPE is included in the PC. What is IN SCOPE and What is OUT OF SCOPE? Your Team is identified, and Roles & Responsibilities are defined. A SIPOC Map is completed. An “As Is” Process Map is completed in order to better visualize the Workflow in the current process. The DEFINE Phase provides for identification of the VOC and CTQs, their needs, drivers and requirements.
The student will have evaluated and Affinitized the VOC. CTQ trees were created to identify key requirements for meeting the customer’s needs. The Project Team should have a list of external Key stake Holders, if applicable, e.g., Hospital Radiology, who may be impacted by process changes within the Doctor’s medical practice. If the Doctor’s staff schedule testing appointments for patients and are required to make frequent changes, this has an impact on the department or entity conducting the testing. The Project Team will have met with Dr. Deasley for his approval to proceed and now has a baseline to begin the Measure phase.