Application of Six Sigma to reduce Medical Errors*

June 26th, 2009

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At Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, errors with IV medication drips and laboratory processing and results reporting were causing serious problems related to effective patient treatment.

After diagnosing and quantifying the problem, a new process was implemented which had a significant impact on customer care. Level 1 discrepancies (<1 ml/hr) fell from 47.4% to 14%. Level 2 discrepancies (1-5 ml/hr) fell from 21.1% to 11.8% and level 3 discrepancies (>5ml/hr) fell from 15.8% to 2.9%.

Left untreated, these types of problems can result in poor customer care, longer treatment and recovery times, increased costs, and reduced profits.

*Cathy Buck RN MSN, “Application of Six Sigma to Reduce Medical Errors,” ASQ’s 55th Annual Quality Congress, Charlotte, NC, Vol. 55, No. 0, May 2001, pp. 739-742,  http://www.asq.org/qic/display-item/index.html?item=14740

How much are these problems costing you each year? Would you like to be able to cost-effectively deal with these issues and move more money to the bottom-line while also improving employee morale, customer service and customer satisfaction? Contact us!

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