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Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality

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Lean and Six Sigma Training

Introduction to Lean Sigma

Learn how Lean Sigma can be used to make health care delivery more efficient while improving quality of care and patient safety.

For more than a decade, our Lean Sigma team has helped health care professionals to create data-driven solutions for waste and defects in care delivery. We were among the first organizations to adapt Lean and Six Sigma methods from manufacturing into a curriculum tailored for the health care world. Since then, we have trained hundreds of Green Belts at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere, and we have coached many others in straightforward Lean methods to eliminate waste in their workplaces.

Training Programs

We regularly offer two courses in Baltimore.

  • Lean Sigma Green Belt Certificate Program (5 days). Combines Lean methods for optimizing flow, increasing speed and reducing waste, with Six Sigma statistical tools to identify root causes and reduce defects.
  • Lean for Healthcare (2 days). Provides tools and techniques that a wide range of frontline staff can use to identify waste in health care delivery processes, and then reduce or eliminate that waste.

In addition to holding scheduled courses in Baltimore, we can bring training to your facility. Other services include consulting, remote coaching and Lean Kaizen rapid- cycle improvement projects. Email leansigma@jhmi.edu or call us at 410-637-7160.

Our Instructors

We are Lean Sigma Black Belts and Master Black Belts who have previous experience as health care providers or in industry. In addition to leading courses, our instructors regularly facilitate projects that improve quality, safety and efficiency within Johns Hopkins Medicine and other organizations. The guidance that they provide in the classroom is grounded in their real-world experiences of helping health care teams to overcome obstacles and make lasting, measurable changes.

Success Stories

Lean Sigma can be used to target waste and defects in any component of health care delivery. Among the improvements that we have helped teams to achieve:

  • Reducing readmissions. Helped 30-day readmission rates for heart failure patients to reach an all-time low, down to 17.5 percent from a baseline of 24 percent
  • Saving blood products. Reduced by more than 50 percent the rate at which units of packed red blood cells had to be discarded, saving $800,000 in the first four years
  • Ensuring MRI safety. Conducted a proactive risk assessment to identify possible failures associated with a new intraoperative MRI suite, and then implemented several preventive measures
  • Streamlining medication administration. Reduced total time for Botox administration process from 42 minutes to 24 minutes in an outpatient neurology clinic
  • Capturing revenue. Realized an additional $50,000 a month for charges related to supplies in procedures in an interventional radiology service
Laura Winner

Turning Health Care Improvement Training into Results

Laura Winner, Director of Lean Sigma Deployment, recommends simple strategies to ensure that new skills are put to use.