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Compare and contrast the following continuous quality improvement methods: Six Sigma, Lean, and PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) - Research Paper Example

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It emphasizes on the use of certain concepts to achieve quality results. The techniques help in improvement of processes and programs, assessing and providing response to needs…
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Compare and contrast the following continuous quality improvement methods: Six Sigma, Lean, and PDCA (Plan Do Check Act)
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of affiliation Compare and contrast the following continuous quality improvement methods: Six Sigma, Lean, and PDCA (Plan Do Check Act)
Continuous quality improvement (CQM) is a concept that is commonly applied in various organizations. It emphasizes on the use of certain concepts to achieve quality results. The techniques help in improvement of processes and programs, assessing and providing response to needs of people and focus on programs and activities aimed at improving the health of persons. The prescribed methods comprises of the following; the six sigma, lean and Plan Do Check Act (PDCA).
Six sigma
This is a process improvement technique aimed at reducing errors and improving quality in health organizations. This concept has three main aspects that are; it is intended to measure work output, designed to be applicable in all the organizational departments, and has a set goal of 3.4 errors per every million operations (Fleming et al, p. 260). One of its major goals is eliminating the silo mentality that has been created by the typical departmental structures in organizations.
The sigma model comprises of five steps in its operation. The first step involves definition of the problem. Here, the problem is identified and all its elements listed down. Secondly, the magnitude of the problem is determined by placing focus on its component parts. The third phrase involves studying the processes to ascertain the problem cause; the forth step is improving, which aims at eliminating the problem root cause. Finally, the fifth step involves taking control by developing and applying the ongoing monitoring, measures.
Lean method
The lean process can also be referred to as Toyota production process. It was derived from the successes of the Toyota motor company and its quality improvement focuses on the elimination of waste in the processes. The waste is eliminated by removing work that adds no value hence increasing the value of programs, products and services. Delays in customer service and duplicates in patient information are some of the most common wastes in health care organizations.
Therefore, while the six-sigma approach aims at reducing error margins, the lean method focuses on elimination of wastes from the system. To address the issues of both error and wastes, these two methods can be combined to come up with lean six-sigma method. The lean six sigma method works by eliminating both the errors and the wastages within the system thus bringing out quality output.
Plan Do Check Act (PDCA)
This is another very common method for quality improvement. It works as a circle that is applicable once an opportunity for improvement has been identified. The circle begins by plan; this is where the relevant observations and data are gathered then analyzed. The next step is do- where the most likely solution is assessed and its effect analyzed. Thirdly, you move to the check stage where results of small-scale tests and analysis are compared (Fleming et al, p.264). The small-scale tests represents the entire process, if the tests provides desirable results, step 5 is applied. Here permanent changes are made appropriately to the process. If the tested change does not successfully meet the requirements, then it is advisable to go through the circle again by testing more potential elements.
In conclusion, the six sigma, the lean, and the plan do check act methods all aim at improving the quality of outputs. Each of these methods applies different concepts in quality improvement. Some of these concepts can also be combined to produce much more refined results. Such is the case when the six-sigma method is combined with the lean method, the outcome is tremendous.
Reference
Fleming, F., Begun, J. W., & William Riley. Managing Health Organizations for Quality and Performance. Read More
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