Process Improvement of Pap Smear Tracking in a Women's Medicine Center Clinic in Residency Training

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Application of Six-Sigma methodology and Change Acceleration Process (CAP)/Work Out (WO) tools to track pap smear results in an outpatient clinic in a hospital-based residency-training program. Observational study of impact of changes obtained through application of Six-Sigma principles in clinic process with particular attention to prevention of sentinel events. Using cohort analysis and applying Six-Sigma principles to an interactive electronic medical record Soarian workflow engine, we designed a system of timely accession and reporting of pap smear and pathology results. We compared manual processes from January 1, 2007 to February 28, 2008 to automated processes from March 1, 2008 to December 31, 2009. Using the Six-Sigma principles, CAP/WO tools, including “voice of the customer” and team focused approach, no outlier events went untracked. Applying the Soarian workflow engine to track prescribed 7 day turnaround time for completion, we identified 148 pap results in 3,936, 3 nongynecological results in 15, and 41 surgical results in 246. We applied Six-Sigma principles to an outpatient clinic facilitating an interdisciplinary team approach to improve the clinic's reporting system. Through focused problem assessment, verification of process, and validation of outcomes, we improved patient care for pap smears and critical pathology.

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