6SigmaTek – Decreasing wait times in your emergency department


The DFW Hospital Council posts guest blogs by our Associate Members. The following was provided by 6SigmaTek.

By Stephen Griffin, Managing Partner, Lean Six Sigma Business Transformation at 6SigmaTek, LLC

Is your hospital experiencing long lengths of stays? Perhaps patients leaving without being seen or even against medical advice? Lean Six Sigma Business Transformation has created a high-level approach that has worked for other systems in the U.S.

The emergency department at a hospital is important from two perspectives. It is the generation of revenue and the beginning of reimbursement. It is also the “front door” of your company that serves as an important link to the community.

From the patient’s perspective, it is quite simply a lifeline.

Working with multiple hospitals, we have been able to decrease the turnaround time of emergency departments with our new approach bolstered by years of research.

At Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, our system decreased the emergency department turnaround time from 300 to 100 minutes.

Here are the simple steps we would need to take when working together on decreasing your hospitals’ wait times:

1. Provide 6sigmaTek with one year of Emergency Department data from your electronic medical records.

2. From this data, 6SigmaTek will create an electronic model and analyze the busiest day, busiest time of day, volume of patients and level of patients.

3. From data analysis and predictive modeling, we will choose the most probable day and time to perform a secret patient visit. A member of the 6SigmaTek team will arrive as the secret patient. The diagnosis will be a severe stomach ache. This patient will have no identification and no insurance, but they will have a cell phone with a Value Stream Map APP and with the ability to time how long each process takes to complete. They will also be able to gather all previously agreed to information about the overall process.

4. If need be, the secret patient will drink a gastrointestinal, or GI, cocktail.

5. After discharge of the secret patient, we will create a real-time Value Stream Map to display process breakdowns within your Emergency Department.

6. Once all data is collected, an electronic simulation model will be created to detail staffing, volumes and patient levels.

The final result will be a complete statistical analysis, with an electronic model for scenarios to be created and simulated for predictive outcomes.

This is a unique way for hospitals to target critical aspects of patient flow, patient access, service-cycle time and your admission/discharge processes. The electronic model will also be a great way to identify and remove bottlenecks or inefficiencies in the system. As a result, you will potentially see a positive impact on patients, staff and the bottom line.

For more details, please do not hesitate to visit www.6sigmatek.com today.