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Hospitals use various methods of quality improvement. There are many different systems. According to Kevin Warren, there are 7 main models for quality improvement. These have evolved over time, from the Shewhart Cycle of Plan-Do-Study-Act to the Baldridge Criteria to ISO 9000 to Six Sigma. All of the systems share a reliance on statistics in order to measure improvement, but their approaches to the improvement process differ.
Two modern systems, Lean Thinking and Six Sigma differ in their focus. Lean Thinking has as its aim the concept of flow. Value is defined by the customers and a value stream is identified. This is “the set of specific actions required to bring a specific product or service from concept to completion.” (Warren, 2008) The organization then makes the valued added steps flow, letting the customer pull (rather than the organization push) the product. Perfecting this process is a matter of perfecting the flow from the organization to the customer.
Six Sigma is based more in statistics. The name Six Sigma comes from the notion the probability that a standard normal will exceed...
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