Simulation and lean Six Sigma integration for improvement of hospital operations
State University of New York at Buffalo
Jomon Aliyas Paul
Visiting Assistant Professor
Kennesaw State University
The paper will demonstrate that animated simulation can be effectively integrated with DMAIC, a lean Six Sigma approach to study patient throughput problems. Simulation has been successfully applied to identify, evaluate, and recommend measures in improving emergency department (ED) and operation rooms (OR) patient flows in several hospitals.
Patient throughput is one of the most common measures of hospital performance. Across the country, EDs, the entry point of almost 50 percent of the inpatients, are facing overcrowding and long patient stays. Similarly, ORs, the biggest revenue grosser for hospitals, need to schedule surgery block times in an efficient way to accommodate the increasing patient surgical demands.
The paper will demonstrate that animated simulation can be effectively integrated with DMAIC, a lean Six Sigma approach to study these problems with simulation acting as an excellent tool to implement the analyze and improve modules of the Six Sigma methodology. At the Center of Excellence of Global Enterprises (GEM) at the University at Buffalo, simulation has been successfully applied to several hospitals to identify, evaluate, and recommend measures in improving ED and OR patient flows. Resource and process bottlenecks were identified and appropriate solution measures were obtained from simulation results. The recommendations have been implemented and notable improvements in patient care deliveries have been identified.