Title: Application of Lean Six Sigma methodology to reduce the cycle time of out-patient department service in a rural hospital

Authors: Shreeranga Bhat; N.A. Jnanesh

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, ST Joseph Engineering College, Vamajoor, Mangalore – 575 028, Karnataka, India ' KVG College of Engineering, Sullia – 574 327, Karnataka, India

Abstract: This article discusses the implementation of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) methodology in decreasing cycle time of out-patient department service of a rural hospital. The lean principles and Six Sigma define, measure, analyse, improve, and control process (DMAIC) approaches have been used to achieve this result. This article explains the step-by-step approach of LSS implementation in a rural Indian hospital for quality improvement and timely service to the community. This resulted in decreased cycle time of the process from 4.27 minutes to 1.5 minutes. Owing to the project a 97% reduction in average waiting time in the system and 91% decreases in queue length were reported. During this study, data was collected on all possible causes. Statistical techniques and GEMBA were used to analyse the data. Based on analysis conclusions were made. Lean tools such as kanban, 5S, ergonomic design of work place, etc., were effectively used to improve process and sustain the process.

Keywords: lean six sigma; LSS; outpatient departments; OPD; rural hospitals; cycle time; India; kanban; 5S; ergonomic design; process improvement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2014.064257

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2014 Vol.14 No.3, pp.222 - 237

Received: 30 Sep 2013
Accepted: 17 May 2014

Published online: 30 Aug 2014 *

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