What is it about?

The COVID-19 crisis uncovers weaknesses and shortcomings in healthcare systems around the world. Focusing on the Netherlands we evaluate the role of Lean Six Sigma, which has been a common method for improvement in healthcare operations for about two decades.

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Why is it important?

Process improvement in healthcare has had a tendency to cut capacity and flexibility which are needed to deal with excessive demand shocks, such as during a pandemic. The main reason for this failure seems to be an overly strong focus on cost reduction instigated by Lean Six Sigma during stable times.

Perspectives

Although may enthusiastic stories about Lean Six Sigma in healthcare, we find that Lean Six Sigma is misused too often to reap monetary benefits in the short term, making itself more vulnerable to disruption such as pandemic.

Alex Kuiper

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This page is a summary of: A reconsideration of Lean Six Sigma in healthcare after the COVID-19 crisis, International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, July 2021, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/ijlss-01-2021-0013.
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