Using Lean Six Sigma Methodology to Improve Quality of the Anesthesia Supply Chain in a Pediatric Hospital

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Abstract

Six Sigma and Lean methodologies are effective quality improvement tools in many health care settings. We applied the DMAIC methodology (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) to address deficiencies in our pediatric anesthesia supply chain. We defined supply chain problems by mapping existing processes and soliciting comments from those involved. We used daily distance walked by anesthesia technicians and number of callouts for missing supplies as measurements that we analyzed before and after implementing improvements (anesthesia cart redesign). We showed improvement in the metrics after those interventions were implemented, and those improvements were sustained and thus controlled 1 year after implementation.

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