Emergency departments (ED) at many hospitals have been overwhelmed in the past year, as more patients without health insurance use the ED as a primary care solution. Wait times in the ED are increasing as more and more Americans are using the Emergency Department for their general health concerns. Across the country, the average ED wait time is now 222 minutes (approximately 3 hours, 42 minutes).
Wishmewell Hospital’s average wait time in the ED is more than five hours, and the board of directors is concerned about this long wait time. The danger is that a patient’s condition may escalate during his/her waiting time in Wishmewell’s ED.
The board has tasked you to take on a new quality improvement initiative to decrease wait time in the ED using the Six Sigma approach.
Develop a quality improvement program using the Six Sigma approach to decrease waiting time in Wishmewell’s emergency department.
The quality improvement program must include the following elements in an approximately 10-page MS Word document:
- Describe the goals and objectives of your plan to decrease ER wait times at Wishmewell.
- Describe each step of the Six Sigma (DMAIC) process:
- Define the problem
- Measure the process; what Six Sigma tools will you use?
- Analyze the data; what tools will you use to analyze the data?
- Improve the process; explain your improvement plan
- Control; how will you continue to monitor the results and adjust as necessary?
- Describe the key players (stakeholders) who should be members of your implementation team and explain why teamwork is an important factor in implementing a quality improvement program.
- Explain at least three factors that might inhibit the implementation of your decreased wait time program.