Online from: 1997
Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare
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|Title:||Risk management and cost reduction of cancer drugs using Lean Six Sigma tools|
|Author(s):||Andrea Chiarini, (Chiarini & Associati srl, Bologna, Italy)|
|Citation:||Andrea Chiarini, (2012) "Risk management and cost reduction of cancer drugs using Lean Six Sigma tools", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 25 Iss: 4, pp.318 - 330|
|Keywords:||Accidents, Costs, Drug administration, Health services, Italy, Lean six sigma, Risk analysis|
|Article type:||Case study|
|DOI:||10.1108/17511871211268982 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – This paper seeks to understand whether some Lean Six Sigma tools are useful to reduce safety and health risks to nurses and physicians who manage cancer drugs. An additional objective is to analyze economic improvements reached by the means of lean six sigma.
Design/methodology/approach – An improvement project inside the pharmacy department of an Italian hospital was observed and studied. The project was conducted through the define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC) pattern typical of Lean Six Sigma.
Findings – The FMEA risk analysis shows an improved situation concerning health and safety for nurses and physicians. Furthermore, the centralization and the use of other tools such as value stream mapping (VSM) have led to an interesting saving due to the reduction of immobilized capital inside the stockrooms of the departments. Other unexpected improvements in terms of motion and transportation reduction have occurred.
Research limitations/implications – It is difficult to generalize the developed theory from one case study to other public health care organizations. Academics and practitioners could investigate the subject in more detail by the means of other case studies or a quantitative inquiry.
Practical implications – The paper suggests an interesting and practical way to reduce risks for health and safety and costs inside pharmacy departments.
Originality/value – Lean Six Sigma and its tools have been used for the first time for reducing health and safety risks due to cancer drugs.