Lean at the Operating Room

Posted by: meikah | 27 January 2010 | 9:09 pm

Lean has been associated with manufacturing and its use in the factory floor. But people discover that Lean can also be used in the service industry.

An article on iSixSigma Healthcare shows us how Lean can be used in the operating room, for example. Here’s an excerpt of the article.

Recently one healthcare organization had a goal to decrease its turnover time in the operating room. The use of Lean tools eliminated waste, idle time and efforts that added no value from the patients’ or physicians’ perspective. Additionally, visual indicators were put in place to help reduce errors and rework. The team for this project was able to immediately reduce the turnover time by 50 percent – with minimal investment and without any changes to the hospital or departmental IT systems.

Lean Tools Have Healthcare Applications

In a Lean organization, processes and value streams associated with services, products and patient care are continually evaluated for waste. Such waste is then attacked with a vengeance using a number of industry-proven tools, such as:

  • Pull systems and “flow” to improve throughput in areas such as labs and other places with paperwork-intensive processes.
  • SMED techniques applied to changeover time improvements in operating rooms. (SMED comes from the manufacturing industry and stands for “single minute exchange of die.”)
  • Poka-Yoke, aimed at reducing the opportunity for errors and omissions.
  • 5-S, used to rearrange/reorganize nursing stations and other healthcare workplaces for greater efficiency.

Read more…

Filed under: Healthcare, Lean, Six Sigma

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Airport Security is Lean Six Sigma Based

Posted by: meikah | 27 January 2010 | 8:35 pm

Lean Six Sigma-based airport security

Hospitality.net reports that airport security concerns not likely to dampen optimism in the business travel industry.

According to the results of a survey conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) 63 percent of the respondents (44 companies representing an aggregate $400 million in annual travel expenditures) indicated that they expected to spend either the same or more on business travel in 2010.

Because of this, airport security is tightened by introducing full-body, three-dimensional scanners to detect hidden weapons or explosive. This may make checking in a bit time consuming, but Canada airport management will see to it that no bottlenecks will happen, and operations won’t be affected as cumbersome day-to-day processes are being streamlined.

It’s interesting to note that ACTE Canada will be hosting an education forum in Toronto on March 9th which will highlight the principles of Lean Six Sigma as one strategy to improve business processes and improve quality.


*Photo from Stock.Xchng

Filed under: Airports, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma

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Six Sigma Companies News: Boeing Reports Q4 Revenues

Posted by: meikah | 27 January 2010 | 7:50 pm

news on Six Sigma companies

Here’s another edition of Six Sigma Companies News. Boeing went through some rough times in the last couple of years.

Yet in the last quarter of 2009, Boeing reports:

… fourth-quarter revenues rose to nearly $18 billion from $12.7 billion a year earlier and net income rose to $1.3 billion, or $1.75 per share, compared with a loss of $86 million, or a loss of 12 cents a share in 2008.

Continue reading…

Filed under: Six Sigma, Six Sigma News, Six Sigma Organizations

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Webcast: ‘Lean Six Sigma Beyond Process Maps – Delving into the Cultural Impacts’

Posted by: meikah | 26 January 2010 | 9:10 pm

PowerSteering Software will host a new free webcast titled Lean Six Sigma Beyond Process Maps. This will be presented by James Pearson, EMC‘s former VP of Lean Six Sigma and past recipient of WBCF‘s VP Six Sigma Leader of the Year honor.

Participants of the webcast will learn the following:

  • Secure top-down executive support
  • Assess the cultural consequences across the employee base
  • Commit to continuous review and improvement
  • Recognize the central role of the system on Lean Six Sigma results
  • Obtain and maintain executive visibility of the program

Schedule: Tuesday, February 9 at 11:30 a.m. (EST)


Filed under: Lean Six Sigma, Process Maps, Processes, Six Sigma

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Innovation of the Week: Innovation Tip, Step Back to Step Forward

Posted by: meikah | 22 January 2010 | 12:10 am
sixsig innovation of the week

This week’s edition of innovation update proves my theory on innovation: that it is a creative process, too. Why do I say that? Because like embarking on a creative process, like writing, you need to step back, listen to silence, and contemplate in order to come up with a piece of writing worth reading.

I haven’t done this in a long while, and I wish I’d have time to do it one of these days. Meanwhile, here’s the innovation tip that will do all of us good.

It might sound simple, but taking a step back can help executives look at a problem in an entirely new light.

When my colleague Dick Boland talks to an audience about how to manage by designing, there is often a moment where he pauses, usually with a hand raised thoughtfully to his chin.

Continue reading…

Filed under: Innovation, Innovation Update, Six Sigma

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Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy: Get on that Lean-thinking Hat

Posted by: meikah | 20 January 2010 | 8:53 pm

During the NRF 99th Annual Convention & Expo, Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy shared 10 essential management lessons.

On Number 6, Leahy talked about connecting together people, process, and system. This is what organizations often fail to do.

And on Number 7, he encourages everyone to employ Lean thinking to address bottlenecks and fix the disconnects in productivity.

Read the 10 lessons here.

Filed under: Lean, Productivity, Six Sigma, Tesco

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SixSig Reference Feature: The Evolution of Quality at Motorola

Posted by: meikah | 20 January 2010 | 8:48 pm

Here’s something that we all can learn.

Quality is the foundation of how we do business at Motorola. The key to sustaining continuous, profitable growth is anchored in Flawless Quality in everything we do. We can never become complacent and believe we are doing well enough. In fact, we have developed a mature culture where all of our employees have a healthy continuous dissatisfaction with their performance and continue to strive to achieve greater levels of quality results.

Continue reading…

Filed under: Motorola, Quality, Six Sigma

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Correct Craft’s Lean Six Sigma-based Nautique Soar Program

Posted by: meikah | 20 January 2010 | 7:46 pm

WaterSki reports:

The first program of its kind in the boating industry, Nautique SOAR is an innovative new system that implements Lean Six Sigma principles throughout the Nautique sales program. Correct Craft has begun its initial phase and expects that it will be fully executed over the next several months.

Continue reading…

Filed under: Boating Industry, Correct Craft, Six Sigma, Transportation

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Learn from the 2009 Winner of the Six Sigma and Business Improvement CEO of the Year

Posted by: meikah | 18 January 2010 | 9:27 pm

Six Sigma Zone is kind enough to share the case study of the 2009 Winner of the Six Sigma and Business Improvement CEO of the Year.

Click here to read it.

Filed under: Business Improvement, Quality, Six Sigma

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St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Improves Back-office Functions Through Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 18 January 2010 | 8:53 pm

Six Sigma at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland

In 2008, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland began incorporating traditional lean process engineering techniques with consultants trained in Six Sigma.

Armed with these principles, the organization is now improving back-office functions using Six Sigma. In an article on Crain’s Detroit Business-Focus, this is how they do it:

  • conducted a thorough analysis of work flows in the lab, radiology and central supply
  • significant improvement: cut radiology department turnaround time for reports and tests by 50 percent
  • used lean principles in designing its new surgical pavilion

Read more…

Filed under: Healthcare, Services, Six Sigma

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