A Lean Six Sigma Quality Improvement Project to Increase Discharge Paperwork Completeness for Admission to a Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Program

1Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
American Journal of Medical Quality (Impact Factor: 1.25). 01/2013; 28(4). DOI: 10.1177/1062860612470486
Source: PubMed


Lean Six Sigma (LSS) process analysis can be used to increase completeness of discharge summary reports used as a critical communication tool when a patient transitions between levels of care. The authors used the LSS methodology as an intervention to improve systems process. Over the course of the project, 8 required elements were analyzed in the discharge paperwork. The authors analyzed the discharge paperwork of patients (42 patients preintervention and 143 patients postintervention) of a comprehensive integrated inpatient rehabilitation program (CIIRP). Prior to this LSS project, 61.8% of required discharge elements were present. The intervention improved the completeness to 94.2% of the required elements. The percentage of charts that were 100% complete increased from 11.9% to 67.8%. LSS is a well-established process improvement methodology that can be used to make significant improvements in complex health care workflow issues. Specifically, the completeness of discharge documentation required for transition of care to CIIRP can be improved.

80 Reads
  • Public Sector Management in Italy, 2013 edited by Massimo Sargiacomo, 09/2013: chapter 7: pages 181-204; McGraw-Hill Education., ISBN: 978-00-771-6099-9
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lean seems to be the next revolution for a better, improved, value-based healhcare. In the last 15 years Lean has been increasingly adapted and adopted in healthcare. Accordingly, Lean healthcare has been developing into a major strand of research since the early 2000s. The aim of this work is to present a comprehensive overview of the main issues highlighted by research on implementation of Lean in a complex contest such as the healthcare one. Comprehensive literature review was conducted in order to identify empirical and theoretical articles published up to September 2013. Thematic analysis was performed in order to extract and synthesis data. 243 articles were selected for analysis. Lean is best understood as a means to increase productivity. Hospital is the more explored setting, with emergency and surgery as the pioneer departments. USA appears to be the leading country for number of applications. The theoretical works have been focused mainly on barriers, challenges and success factors. Sustainability, framework for measurement and critical appraisal remain underestimated themes. Evaluations of "system wide approach" are still low in number. Even though Lean results appear to be promising, findings so far do not allow to draw a final word on its positive impacts or challenges when introduced in the healthcare sector. Scholars are called to explore further the potentiality and the weaknesses of Lean, above all as for the magnitude of investments required and for the engagement of the whole organization it represents increasingly strategic choice, whilst health professionals, managers and policy makers could and should learn from research how to play a pivotal role for a more effective implementation of lean in different health contexts. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Health Policy 02/2015; 33(9). DOI:10.1016/j.healthpol.2015.02.002 · 1.91 Impact Factor