Process Management in Healthcare (An Improvement Journey with Lean Six Sigma)
Albert Trip
University Medical Centre (UMCG), Groningen, Netherlands

The Six Sigma approach to improve quality and efficiency suits (university) hospitals. Some reasons are: obtaining reliable data is essential, jumping to conclusions is not allowed, and cost cutting can be done judiciously (instead of the same percentage for everyone). The kind of thinking of Six Sigma agrees with a medical environment, where the academically educated medical staff is the heart of the organization.

Actual improvements often call for different habits, however. In the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG), the second largest Dutch hospital, this appeared a bigger problem. Different habits have to be reinforced with a culture change, taking much more time than the average project. Now Lean Thinking comes into play, emphasizing standards and continuous improvement.

During the presentation the process of introducing LSS and keeping it alive in the UMCG will be described, as well as the problems and solutions, and the failures and successes.

Keywords: Lean; Six sigma; Hospital; Continuous improvement

Biography: Albert Trip earned a degree in mathematical statistics before he went working as a consultant within Philips Electronics in the Netherlands. His PhD thesis dealt with topics in process control, based on his experiences within Philips. He then became a consultant with IBIS, which is part of the University of Amsterdam, and worked mainly for the SaraLee/DE liquid coffee industry in the Netherlands. In 2007 he became Master Black Belt at the University Medical Centre Groningen.