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Lean six sigma

What is Lean Six Sigma? Lean is an approach that seeks to improve flow in the value stream and eliminate waste. Six Sigma uses a powerful framework (DMAIC) and statistical tools to uncover root causes to understand and reduce variation. A combination of both provides a structured improvement approach and effective tools to solve problems. This creates rapid transformational improvement at lower cost.

The NHS Institute has been leading work integrating Lean and Six Sigma improvement approaches for the NHS. These concepts will help organisations to improve productivity, reduce waste and lower NHS costs.

In December 2005, a team from the NHS Institute presented a Learning Lab (Learning Lab 2.25 MB) at the IHI conference in Orlando, Florida, on the development of a joint ‘Lean’ and ‘Six Sigma’ process. Dramatic reductions in waiting times were achieved by succussfully applying Lean and Six Sigma together.

Read about Six Sigma Basic Concepts.

Read the Health Service Journal - Productive Time Supplement (
recent1.12 MB) (Including Lean - page 8 and Lean Sigma articles - page 14).

Leaning towards Efficiency - Healthcare Finance Magazine - November 2006

This leaflet (HFnov06 Lean 4 pages.pdf 2.18 MB) explains what finance leaders need to do and how they can get involved in improving the NHS using Lean Thinking and Six Sigma techniques.

The November issue of Healthcare Finance starts to introduce what Lean and Six Sigma are and explains how they are starting to be used in the NHS. A section on frequently asked questions and case study with results is also included. The article concludes by suggesting three critical success factors things that leaders need to do.