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Improving Healthcare Quality and Cost with Six Sigma (paperback) 1st Edition

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0132618670
ISBN-10: 0132618672
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Definitive Six Sigma Guide for Healthcare: Methodologies, Tools, and Metrics


Rising costs are making healthcare unaffordable for millions, and 100,000 people die every year due to medical error. Healthcare must change–dramatically. Many leading healthcare institutions are discovering a powerful toolset for addressing both quality and cost: Six Sigma. In this hands-on, start-to-finish guidebook, four leading experts introduce Six Sigma from the unique standpoint of the healthcare professional, showing exactly how to implement it in real-world environments.


Drawing on their unsurpassed experience, the authors offer step-by-step methodologies, tools, and metrics–all thoroughly adapted to the unique realities of healthcare. They demonstrate how to utilize Six Sigma’s Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) process to address even the most challenging problems. They also offer realistic guidance on rolling out Six Sigma initiatives that deliver rapid and sustainable value.


The authors show Six Sigma at work in every area of the hospital: clinical, radiology, surgery, ICU, cardiovascular, laboratories, emergency, trauma, administrative services, staffing, billing, cafeteria, even central supply. You'll learn why Six Sigma can produce better results than other quality initiatives, how it brings new rigor and discipline to healthcare delivery, and how it can be used to sustain ongoing improvements for the long term.


Coverage includes

·         Adapting Six Sigma methodology, tools, and measurements for healthcare

·         Designing more successful experiments

·         Rolling out your Six Sigma initiative successfully

·         Case studies from every area of the hospital, from the ICU to billing

·         Six Sigma templates modified fully for the healthcare environment


Comprehensive and user-friendly, this book will be indispensable to everyone concerned with quality or cost: administrators, managers, physicians, and quality specialists alike. Where Six Sigma is already in use or being considered, it will serve as a shared blueprint for the entire team.



Foreword  xx

Introduction  xxi

Part I:   The Need for Cutting Costs and Improving Quality in Healthcare  1

Chapter 1          Trends in the Healthcare Industry  3

Chapter 2          Excellence (Benchmarks) and Improvement Challenges in the Healthcare System  21

Chapter 3          Applicability of Six Sigma in Healthcare Organizations  31


Part II:   Methodology, Tools, and Measurements  59

Chapter 4          The Healthcare Opportunity  61

Chapter 5          Six Sigma Methodology  77

Chapter 6          Understanding Problems: Define, Measure, and Analyze  89

Chapter 7          Solving Problems: Improve and Control  129


Part III:  Benefiting from Six Sigma  161

Chapter 8          Case Study Introduction and Profiles  163

Chapter 9          Clinical Case Studies  181

Chapter 10        Operational Case Studies  203


Part IV:  Rolling Out and Sustaining Six Sigma  239

Chapter 11        Implementing a Six Sigma Culture  241

Chapter 12        Lean Six Sigma in Healthcare  373

Chapter 13        The Road Ahead  401


Part V:   Appendixes  431

Appendix A      PMBOK Tools and Techniques  433

Appendix B       The Six Sigma Body of Knowledge  437

Appendix D      Total Six Sigma Tools Self-Evaluation Form  445

Appendix D      Additional Resources  451

Appendix E       The Man I Want To Be!  453

Index  455



About the Author

Dr. Brett E. Trusko is a Biomedical Informatics and Healthcare Quality Researcher at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, where he studies healthcare quality issues. He is a frequent keynote speaker as both a healthcare quality professional and a healthcare futurist. He has written several hundred articles on issues related to improving healthcare quality. In addition, he works with organizations to apply innovative thinking to their Six Sigma initiatives. A Master Six Sigma Black Belt, Dr. Trusko’s background includes Board Member, US Health Information Technology Standards Panel, 10 years of clinical experience, and 20 years of consulting with several large multinational consulting firms. He spent several years working closely with the late Russell Coile, Jr. as a healthcare futurist. Dr. Trusko can be reached at

Carolyn Pexton has more than 20 years’ experience in communications and healthcare, and is currently serving as the director of communications for Performance Solutions at GE Healthcare. In this role, she works closely with healthcare customers and manages public relations, marketing communications, and internal communications for the Performance Solutions team. Pexton is Six Sigma Green Belt-certified, and has presented and published extensively on a variety of topics including Lean Six Sigma and change management within the healthcare industry.

Dr. H. James Harrington is one of only five Grand Master Six Sigma Black Belts worldwide. He has published more than 25 books related to performance improvement. In the book Tech Trending, Dr. Harrington was referred to as “the quintessential tech trender.” The New York Times referred to him as having a “…knack for synthesis and an open mind about packaging his knowledge and experience in new ways—characteristics that may matter more as prerequisites for new-economy success than technical wizardry…” He wrote the book from which other consultants work. Not only has Dr. Harrington been honored with many national and international awards, he has also had four quality awards named after him. Former President Bill Clinton commissioned Dr. Harrington as an ambassador for Good Will.

Praveen Gupta, President of Accelper Consulting, has more than 25 years of experience in business performance improvement. Praveen worked with the inventor while developing the Six Sigma methodology in the late eighties. Praveen has authored several books, including Six Sigma Business Scorecardand Business Innovation. A Master Six Sigma Black Belt, Praveen currently consults with organizations looking for sustained profitable growth through excellence and innovation.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (April 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132618672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132618670
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,537,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richard B. Greene on August 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book deals with the rather significant issues plaguing our healthcare system. It takes some very sophisticated statistical tools and presents their use in an eloquent yet simplistic manner that even the layman can make good use of. This is a must read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Patel on August 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book about implementing Six Sigma in healthcare. The book has an easy to understand explanation of Six Sigma, and includes practical healthcare examples.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Sebastian on December 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are considering implementing six sigma within your organization, I highly recommend this book. It gives a good overall perspective and a wakeup call to hospitals that are not currently executing process improvement.
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