Six Sigma and TQM/CQI Impact on U.S. Healthcare
Dr. Mary Granoff
August 23, 2014
The concept of Six Sigma can be traced as far back as the late 1700’s when Carl Frederick Gauss introduced the normal curve. It wasn’t until the 1920’s when Walter Schewart was able to pinpoint the distance from the mean where a process which shows evidence of a defect or negative result, can be changed or corrected. However, it was Motorola’s Chairman Bob Galvin in the early 1980’s who after trying the traditional ways to measure defects realized they did not provide sufficient ...view middle of the document...
As organizations adopt the concept of Six Sigma and move forward with implementation, there are two levels where implementation process takes place- the managerial level is where plans are developed along with actions and work which is specialized for special projects, including the design of technologies and teams are being coordinated. Then there is the technical level. This is an important phase as this is where the focus shifts to improved customer satisfaction by the elimination of waste and inefficiencies in the organization.
The Six Sigma concept actually has seven levels, of which level six is 3.4 defects per million opportunities from perfection. The five levels prior to level six are actually higher per million opportunities from perfection, which means that organizations that are functioning between levels 1 and 5 are actually operating at a higher level of inefficiency than those operating at the level six. Being able to determine the sigma level for processes provides the opportunity of comparing the performance of the different processes throughout the organization as it is independent of the process. Even though identifying the sigma level for the different processes is simply a determination of opportunities and defects, the terms are confined to the specific process. Sigma is a statistical term which measures the variance from perfections based on the number of defects per million units. Below find the table with the sigma levels:
|Sigma Level |Sigma |DPMO |
|1 |-0.5 |69% |
|2 |0.5 |31% |
|3 |1.5 |6.7% |
|4 |2.5 |0.62% |
|5 |3.5 |0.023% |
|6 |4.5 |0.00034% |
|7 |5.5 |0.0000019% |
Sigma is part of the Greek alphabet which is used to describe variance within the six sigma concept with a level of quality of 99/9997% and a limited possibility for defects of 3.4 per million. There are six standard deviations which are being developed from the mean, operating at a 12 step process of DPMO (Defects Per Million Operations). For example, a sigma with 691462.5 defects per million opportunities, which when calculated in percentage it would represent an output of approximately 30.854% which is an indication of a poor performance. Another example would be that of a three sigma level which uses an error of 66807.2 per million opportunities which translates into an output of 93.319% which is a much better performance rating...