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Lean Six Sigma Principles by Vincenzo Buonomo

“We were able to reduce patient cycle time, free up physician time and increase throughput, aka revenue!" states Amelia Gifford, graduate of the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Green Belt program offered by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) at Dutchess Community College (DCC) when she worked at Adirondack Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Albany. Lean Six Sigma, the result of merging two continuous improvement approaches,has become a significant force within organizations in all sectors to optimize processes and drive out waste. By combining Lean with Six Sigma, organizations are achieving both speed and accuracy. LSS utilizes the DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze- Improve-Control) structured method (see Figure 1) to improve processes with a focus on reducing waste and using data driven decisions to drive customer satisfaction and bottom-line results. While LSS may have started in the manufacturing sector, it is just as effective in the transactional or administrative segments of any business. It is being applied to services, healthcare, education, not-forprofit, and government sectors. Traditionally, individuals and organizations immediately start brainstorming solutions when a problem emerges, resulting in short-term gains and the need to revisit the issue in the future. Instead, DMAIC seeks to implement a breakthrough improvement that is more lasting.

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