Implementation of lean Six-Sigma project in enhancing health care service quality during COVID-19 pandemic

AIMS Public Health. 2021 Oct 22;8(4):704-719. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2021056. eCollection 2021.

Abstract

The recent outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has exposed the weakness of the existing healthcare facilities in developing countries, and Pakistan has no exception. The increasing amount of patients has made this condition more vulnerable to failure. It became difficult for health care management to handle the surge of patients. This case study is based on the XYZ hospital system of Pakistan. The hospital initiates passive immunization as a savior in the absence of a vaccine. The process initiates numerous challenges as the same facility was using for passive immunization and routine operations of the hospital. DMAIC lean sig-sigma problem-solving methodology has been adopted to Define, Measure, Analyze, Implement and Control the improvement process for smooth special and routine activities. The staff and patients were interviewed, their issues were listed, and a comprehensive solution was suggested to deal with operational uncertainties. The results identified various factors through VOC and SIPOC processes, prioritized using fishbone diagram, analyzed through Kano model, and finally proposed process improvement by incorporating Kaizen process improvement methodology. Other industries could use this set of tools to evaluate and optimize routine problems, which ultimately enhances the quality and reduces cost.

Keywords: COVID-19; DMAIC; Kano model; LSS project; Lean Six Sigma; hospital management.