Lean Six-Sigma: Treatments for an Ailing NHS?

Bancroft, John and Saha, Krishnendu and Li, Di and Lukacs, Gabor and Pierron, Xavier (2018) Lean Six-Sigma: Treatments for an Ailing NHS? International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, 35 (9). pp. 1976-1988. ISSN 0265-671X

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Purpose – This paper examines England’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) arm of the National Health Service (NHS). It considers the positive impact that Lean has had and Six-Sigma can have in A&E departments to improve the quality and reliability of the service offered, in an area that is facing performance challenges.
Design/methodology/approach – Independent variables average monthly temperature data (degrees Celsius) obtained from the Met Office and weekly A&E data, patient volume is analysed alongside the dependent variable, the percentage of patients seen in four hours or less.
Findings – The model produced a robust positive impact when Lean Six-Sigma is adopted, increasing the likelihood of A&E dependents meeting their performance objective to see and treat patients in four hours or less.
Research limitations/implications – Further variables such as staffing levels, A&E admission type should be considered in future studies. Additionally, it would add further clarity to analyse hospitals and trusts individually, to gauge which are struggling.
Practical implications – Should the NHS further its understanding and adoption of Lean Six-Sigma, it is believed this could have significant improvements in productivity, patient care and cost reduction.
Social implications – Productivity improvements will allow the NHS to do more with an equal amount of funding, therefore improving capacity and patient care.
Originality/value – Through observing A&E and its ability to treat patients in a timely fashion it is clear the NHS is struggling to meet it is performance objectives, the recommendation of Six-Sigma in A&E should improve the reliability and quality of care offered to patients.
Key words – Performance, Six-Sigma, NHS, A&E, Quality, Productivity, Efficiency.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQRM-01-2017-0006
22 April 2018Accepted
1 October 2018Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: performance, six-sigma, healthcare, quality, productivity
Subjects: CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-02 - business studies
CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-04 - management studies
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School
Depositing User: Di Li
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2018 12:00
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2023 10:27
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6065

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