Purpose Improving the quality of patient care is a challenge which calls for a multidisciplinary approach embedding a broad spectrum of knowledge and involving healthcare professionals from diverse backgrounds. The purpose of this paper is to present an innovative approach which implements the discrete-event simulation (DES) as decision supporting tool in the management of Six Sigma quality improvement projects. Design/Methodology/Approach A roadmap has been designed to assist quality practitioners and health care professionals in the design and successful implementation of simulation models within the Define-Measure-Analyze-Design-Verify (DMADV) or Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) Six Sigma procedures. Practical implications The roadmap is a structured procedure that people involved in quality improvement can implement to manage projects based on the analysis and comparison of alternative scenarios. Findings A case study about the reorganization of the flow of emergency patients affected by vertigo symptoms has been developed in a large town hospital as a preliminary test of the roadmap. The positive feedback from professionals carrying out the project looks promising and encourages further roadmap testing in other clinical settings. Originality/Value The role of Six Sigma philosophy in quality-improvement of healthcare services is recognized both by researchers and by quality practitioners; discrete-event simulation models are commonly used to improve the Key Performance Measures of patient care delivery. The two approaches are seldom referenced and implemented together; however, they could be successfully integrated to carry out quality improvement programs: this paper proposes an innovative approach to bridge the gap and enrich the Six Sigma toolbox of quality improvement procedures with DES.
|Titolo:||Linking Six Sigma to simulation: a new roadmap to improve the quality of patient care|
|Autori interni:||FICHERA, Sergio|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Rivista:||INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH CARE QUALITY ASSURANCE|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|