The article “Deployment of Six Sigma Methodology to Reduce Complications in Intravitreal Injections” reveals how Six Sigma principles can be utilized in the modern healthcare delivery setting. According to the authors, this quality improvement method was initially used in manufacturing processes, but now it has more spheres for use such as emergency room, laboratory, radiology, and cataract surgery (Sahbaz et al. 161). This study shows the results of a Six Sigma approach being implemented in a private eye center in Turkey, where the employees tracked the outcomes and complications of the intravitreal injection processes in order to detect the most often occurring problems and devise a plan for their prevention and mitigation.
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The implementation of the developed Six Sigma infrastructure started with the training of the center’s surgical team (Sahbaz et al. 161). Firstly, they created and filled out a SIPOC table, which included such information as the suppliers, input, process, output, and customers of the injection process. Then, the surgical team decided to choose the total number of intravitreal injections and the number of complications as primary metrics of measuring the process. According to Sahbaz et al., the team gathered the described data over the course of thirty months, during which two hundred twenty-nine injections were performed on one hundred six patients (161). In the end, seven types of complications were outlined and classified according to the time and speed of their occurrence. For instance, such complications as subconjunctival hemorrhage, increase in IOP, and retinal detachment were identified (Sahbaz et al. 162). The described complications depended on many factors, including surgeons, nurses, drugs, equipment, and patients. All variables could affect the result and exacerbate the complication.
The analysis of this data revealed a number of outcomes. First of all, such terms as “vital few factors” and “trivial many factors” were introduced in order to classify the leading causes of complications (Sahbaz et al. 163). Thus, such factors as the experience of a specialist administering the drug, his or her attention during the procedure, and a patient’s ocular pathology were deemed to be the most important ones. On the other hand, the sterilization of the equipment and dosage of the drug were determined to be less significant and less frequent. After outlining these factors, the surgical team focused on the types of complications and calculated their frequency, rate of Defects per One Million Opportunities (DPMO), and their sigma levels, which showed the efficiency of every process (Sahbaz et al. 163). As a result, the surgical team was able also to assess the severity of each complication and analyze the connection between the occurrence’s probability and its hazard score.
These results allowed the team to decide if each complication was critical and create a plan for its detection and prevention. Therefore, the entire process was systematized and evaluated. The significance of retina specialists and their experience, attention, and skills were outlined as well. Furthermore, the workers of the center clearly identified the main types of complications and devised a process for preventing them from happening. Thus, the implementation of the Six Sigma methodology allowed the eye center to assess their current rates of complications, find the leading causes and sources of the problem, analyze the issue in detail, and create a plan for future improvement. All in all, the utilization of this philosophy gave the surgical team an opportunity to systematize their ophthalmology processes. As mentioned above, Six Sigma principles can be used in many areas of the healthcare service delivery. The universal nature of this methodology can improve the rate of complications in any medical establishment and bring more attention to the most frequently occurring issues.
Sahbaz, Ibrahim, et al. “Deployment of Six Sigma Methodology to Reduce Complications in Intravitreal Injections.” International Review of Management and Marketing, vol. 4, no. 2, 2014, pp. 160-166.