Practical Process Improvement Tools in Healthcare


The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) method is more of a cycle than a process, and it is considered a quality management system used as a tool for continuous improvement in manufacturing and service industries. It is feasible to utilize it to standardize nurse management, which can, in turn, lead to improvements in the quality of nursing care and an increase in the percentage of patients who can live. Since its approach is seen as a technique for continuous improvement, it is a useful instrument that can be used to solve problems involving qualitative and quantitative data, making it a handy tool.


It is possible to combine the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) process with the Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) process, which is an even more appropriate instrument for the improvement of processes (Realyvásquez-Vargas et al., 2018). Buying the DMAIC process may be necessary if you consider PDCA a valuable technique for process improvement. Importantly, it is claimed that the PDCA and DMAIC methods have been combined into the new Lean Six Sigma (LSS) process improvement methodology. This strategy utilizes the PDCA to continually improve and manage each phase of the DMAIC process.

Six Sigma is the technique for process improvement that has the most potential to benefit the healthcare sector. Six Sigma is an outstanding collection of data-driven processes that can greatly aid healthcare organizations in enhancing their operations. According to Sunder (2020), the key objectives of Lean Six Sigma in the health-care industry are minimizing mistakes and promoting processes geared toward attaining certain objectives. It is of the greatest importance in healthcare, as a failure in healthcare could mean the difference between life and death in some situations. According to research conducted by Purdue University in 2021, medical errors are responsible for the deaths of more than 210,000 individuals annually in the United States. Six Sigma is a strategy for enhancing efficiency, resulting in improved revenue and delighted customers when implemented throughout healthcare organizations.

The following are the four ways in which Six Sigma has the potential to have a significant impact on healthcare: it can shorten wait times in hospitals; it can prevent falls and injuries in hospitals; it can reduce the number of medication errors that occur when prescribing and administering drugs, and it can increase the turnaround time for lab results (Bhat et al., 2019). One of the techniques that are compatible with the Six Sigma methodology is known as the DMAIC approach. The procedure used to check patients into hospitals is an example of how the DMAIC framework can be used to improve even the most fundamental processes.


Administrators in the health-care industry use DMAIC approach to identify existing problems and establish check-in time goals. Second, completing a study of the effectiveness of the current check-in procedure and identifying the phases causing the procedure to proceed more slowly. In the third stage, we will review the data collected in the previous two steps and then search for components that can be eliminated (Bhat et al., 2019). Improving is the subsequent phase of the process, during which the administrator can develop and test alternative solutions to accelerate the check-in procedure. Thirdly, control in this scenario entails ensuring that the newly introduced check-in procedures continue according to plan and creating a chart to evaluate their effectiveness. This use of DMAIC for such a fundamental issue in the health-care industry seems very trivial.


Bhat, S., Antony, J., Gijo, E. V., & Cudney, E. A. (2019). Lean six sigma for the healthcare sector: A multiple case study analysis from the Indian context. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 37(1), 90–111. Web.

Realyvásquez-Vargas, A., Arredondo-Soto, K., Carrillo-Gutiérrez, T., & Ravelo, G. (2018). Applying the plan-do-check-act (Pdca) cycle to reduce the defects in the manufacturing industry. A case study. Applied Sciences, 8(11), 2181. Web.

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