Quality Improvement of Healthcare Through Lean Six-Sigma: A Case of Yekatit 12 Hospital

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Addis Ababa University


Health care organizations are now facing different challenges that brought them to a decision to obtain efficiency improvement, quality and cost reduction. The growth in health sectors access and delivery in Ethiopia has been improved markedly in the last decade. Despite the improvement made in expanding access to health sectors, the disease burden is still high and the service utilization rate remains low. According to the study made by WHO patient satisfaction rate is 50% and average length of stay is 6-7 days and patients are forced to spend a prolonged waiting time in different service stations to get served. Uneven distribution of facilities, shortage of workforce and complicated path flows are among the causes of this prolonged waiting time in public hospitals. This research aims in experimenting the possibilities of process improvement opportunities in YEKATIT 12 hospital by utilizing lean six sigma methodology. In doing so qualitative and quantitative data collection tools and analysis tools have been used. A literature has been reviewed and hospital documents are referred as a secondary source of data. Based on the literatures Yekatit 12 hospital is selected as a case hospital and based on the preliminary data assessment laboratory service station is selected as a case area. Primary source data has been collected from patients, laboratory technologists and management personnel’s. Data has been analyzed by using the DMAIC framework of LSS. The DMAIC clearly shows the existing system and the bottlenecks are clearly defined. In addition to DMAIC arena simulation software have been used for analysis. Then a new process is developed by value stream mapping and it is simulated by arena simulation software. The results after improvement show that Cycle time of processes are reduced which directly reduces the prolonged waiting time within the laboratory department. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that Lean Six Sigma can indeed be applied for process improvement in Hospitals.



LSS, DMAIC, value stream mapping, process improvement