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Laurel Thoennes @ Quality Digest

Health Care

Book: Essentials for the Improvement of Healthcare Using Lean & Six Sigma

Dean H. Stamatis rolls up his quality sleeves and shows health care the “how to”

Published: Monday, December 6, 2010 - 05:00


n his new book, Essentials for the Improvement of Healthcare Using Lean & Six Sigma (CRC Press, 2010), author Diomidis H. Stamatis (aka Dean) presents solutions to the problems that plague the health care industry by providing case studies and explaining a multitude of quality tools and theories of Six Sigma and lean methodology.

Beginning with four critical issues in health care that drive costs and affect efficiency, Stamatis describes the directions for improvement in primary care, hospital care, and managed care. As shown in the book chapter summary below, a great portion of the book is devoted to the time-proven tools and methods for improvement so that health care professionals can understand quality processes and use them. Perhaps more important are the chapters regarding customer satisfaction and understanding the customer. After all, health care is a business—a business that has forgotten who it serves.

Book chapter summary

Most chapters include an introduction, summary, notes, and references.

The Four Critical Issues in Healthcare—errors in delivering treatment, recognition of uninsured,  prescription drugs, technology, costs of health care, efficiency, and more
Directions of Improvement in Healthcare—primary care, hospital care, managed care
The Mechanics of Change—teams, decision making, 8D, 5 Whys, IS/IS NOT, and more
The Transition of Groups to Teams—five stages of internal development of the team
Logistical Issues of Teams—objectives, strategies, rules, facility and other considerations, and more
The Effects of Change in Healthcare
Customer Satisfaction
Understanding the Process—failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA), systems thinking, poka-yoke, advance product quality planning (APQP), measurement, project management, value process mapping, and more
Using Six Sigma Methodology for Improvement—define, measure, analyze, improve, control (DMAIC), design for Six Sigma, lean, and more
Using Lean Methodology for Improvement—lean enterprise vs. lean organization, hoshin method, lean is a way of thinking, lean 5S tools, value-stream mapping, single minute exchange of dies (SMED), theory of constraints, kanban, kaizen, and more
Understanding Measurement
Primary Care—understanding the customer and the process, practice redesign, patient-centered medical home, leadership skills, measurement, concerns, and more
Immediate Applications for Information Technology (IT) in Healthcare
Project Selection—quality function, strategic plan, theory of variation, cost of quality, data collection, and more
Understanding and Utilizing ISO 9000 Standards
Understanding and Utilizing the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program


Diomidis H. Stamatis, Ph.D., (aka Dean) is a specialist in management consulting, organizational development, and quality science. He has taught project management, operations management, logistics, mathematical modeling, and statistics for both graduate and undergraduate levels at Central Michigan University, University of Michigan, and Florida Institute of Technology.


About The Author

Laurel Thoennes @ Quality Digest’s picture

Laurel Thoennes @ Quality Digest

Laurel Thoennes is an editor at Quality Digest. She has worked in the media industry for 33 years at newspapers, magazines, and UC Davis—the past 25 years with Quality Digest.