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Catholic Health Services of Long Island Six Sigma Program
In March of 2009, five Six Sigma projects were initiated to improve stroke care at Catholic Health Services of Long Island’s hospitals. Led by a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, Joe Marcone, the aim of the projects were to improve performance in accordance with the American Heart Association’s Get-With-the Guidelines (GWTG) evidence based approach to stroke care (GWTG Link). The goals of this initiative were to introduce the concepts of Six Sigma, increase compliance with GWTG, and to ultimately improve quality of life and help reduce further illness among stroke patients.
The results after the pilot period were remarkable. All five hospitals increased their compliance with the guidelines after only 3 months and some as much as 40% over baseline. Furthermore, GWTG-stroke compliance at CHSLI as a whole has exceeded that of national and New York State GWTG benchmarks for the past 21 months (see table below). This sustained increase in stroke-care compliance has earned all 5 hospitals recognition from the American Heart Association (AHA) GWTG program and as such can all be listed in US News and World Report as America’s best hospitals. St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center and St. Charles Hospital both have achieved Gold-Plus status, St. Francis Hospital has achieved Silver-Plus status, Mercy Medical Center Silver with Good Samaritan Hospital now eligible for Silver status also.
While Six Sigma is relatively new tool in the performance improvement arsenal in healthcare, these projects have shown that it can be a powerful tool to improve patient care. CHSLI expanded its Six Sigma program by formally introducing Six Sigma training. Another 17 employees (see photo) were chosen to undergo 4 months of Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training. Students were selected from across the 18,000 person enterprise of CHSLI. Four system wide projects were all designed to improve patient care. The Six Sigma projects included:
All of CHSLI’s Six Sigma teams have been successful in implementing key improvements. Two major accomplishments resulting from Six Sigma implementation included being able to reduce the Congestive Heart Failure readmission rate from a baseline of 22% to 15.4% (a 30% improvement) and the Noise team introducing a “Nighttime Bundle” designed to keep patient rooms quieter at night. In addition to the positive impact on patient care and learning to implement “new” process improvement tools, the team members also earned their certifications as Six Sigma Green Belts creating a new and growing core of employees with additional skills that will have an impact on future healthcare improvements.
Our member organizations offer virtually every medical specialty and clinical service, and share a dedication to continuously upgrading the scope, quality, and accessibility of care.
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center and
St. Francis Hospital are Magnet® designated hospitals, nursing’s highest honor.
St. Charles Hospital recognized by
St. Charles Hospital: Improving Surgical Care Through Best-Practice Literature and Order Sets