This program is not currently offered. If you'd like to learn more about this program, please contact Jessica Isomoto by submitting the form on the right of this page. Thank you!

This professional development course is for those employed in the health care field who want to be involved in transforming the culture of their facility into one of continuous improvement at all levels.

Developed in the 1980s to improve product delivery by reducing errors and deviations, Lean Six Sigma is a rigorous approach to defining, isolating and transforming ineffective processes by breaking through rigid, outdated systems. As health care costs skyrocket, changes in health care processes have become a necessity. Because Lean Six Sigma reduces waste and improves the delivery of services, this approach provides measurable solutions to many of the problems endemic to the nation’s health care delivery system.

For example, successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma to health care can result in improving a wide range of processes, both clinical (e.g., medication administration and other processes related to the quality and safety of care delivery) and operational (e.g., room preparation, medical record-keeping and supply management).

Subject & Catalog Number: XHCM 933 (3.6 CEUs)
Date: TBA
Room: TBA
Fee: TBA
Register: Registration instructions.

This course is for those with experience or interest in change-management and process- improvement in health care settings.

Despite dramatic increases in health care costs, health facilities are often plagued with inconsistent and inefficient processes and no system for implementing solutions to deliver safe, affordable and efficient care. Lean Six Sigma changes such environments with specific, data-driven tools to implement process-improvement and problem-solving. Lean Six Sigma pinpoints where problems and unworkable systems become enmeshed in administrative and policy-making processes, and provides clear guidelines for identifying and changing those systems and processes.


  • Introduction to Lean Six Sigma: concepts, goals, terminology and approach
  • Why change? Why health care? Why now? The need, concept and history of process- and performance-improvement.
  • Sources of waste in health care
  • “Voice of Customer” and “Critical to Quality” characteristics in health care
  • Roles and responsibilities in a Six Sigma structure (Belts, Champions)
  • Managing Lean Six Sigma projects (Charter, Schedule, Communication Plan, Ownership)
  • Process capability and process stability in health care
  • DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control)
  • Cost of Quality
  • Value-added vs. Non-value-added processes in health care
  • Lean tools (5S, Value-Stream Mapping, Pull and Demand systems, TAKT time)
  • Other improvement methodologies (PDCA, Work-Out)

By the end of this course, students will be able to

  • Participate in, coordinate and/or lead health care-process improvement projects
  • Collaborate with other organizational disciplines to scope, prioritize, select and execute key improvement initiatives
  • Measure and calculate metrics and indicators related to process variation, and apply Six Sigma to standardize these metrics across different disciplines and functions (e.g., Yield, Sigma Level, Defects-per-Million Opportunities, Process Capability, etc.)
  • Analyze data trends and provide Root-Cause Analyses; evaluate risk associated with different solutions and develop plans to mitigate risk in advance
  • Develop, implement and monitor action plans to reduce process variations; develop control plans to ensure sustainability of solutions
  • Identify and measure Non-Value-Added processes
  • Analyze processes and redesign them to minimize or eliminate Non-Value-Added processes and increase the efficiency of processes (clinical and nonclinical)
  • Provide presentations to senior/executive teams; articulate the need for variation and waste reduction among peers and caregivers
  • Develop, implement and monitor action plans to reduce process waste; implement visual guides and other tools to ensure sustainability of solutions
  • Lead project teams; understand roles and responsibilities of project team members, project customers and others

Students will be assigned to a case study project to identify "Opportunities for Improvement" and will provide recommendations to improve specific metrics.

Who may register

Students should possess an associate's degree (A.A. or higher). Some knowledge of or  experience in health care operations is preferred.