A “Six Sigma”© Primer for the Homecare Industry

By: Christian Hernandez MBA – Apple Health Care Services

Richard Melnyck MBA MS
Mark Friedman PhD Department of Accounting
Howard Gitlow PhD Department of Management Science University Miami
christian hernandez
Homecare has long been one the most cost-effective methods of treating patients. Yet today, homecare providers face significant challenges: reimbursement cuts, mandatory accreditation, and influencing policy changes. So, how can homecare managers efficiently sustain a cutting edge, consistent and quality focused practice amidst this changing landscape?
It is time the homecare industry tap into the high-tech tools and proven management theories that together make up “Six sigma” management. This article will provide a solid point of reference for managers interested in adopting “Six Sigma” management. In today’s stiff economic climate, organizations are once again turning to “Six Sigma”strategies as a means to reduce their bottom lines.
However, its cost cutting aspect is technically more of a by product than the core of its theory. “Six Sigma” management is practiced in many organizations across all sectors of the global economy. Companies such as drug giant Merck, Cadbury, and Dunkin’ Brands are increasingly turning to Six Sigma to lift their bottom lines.
The term “Lean Management” is an old buzz word that still excites managers. Lean Management stems from the term Lean Manufacturing, which was a derivative of Total Quality Management (TQM) —considered one of the earlier versions of “Six Sigma”.
Over the years, “Six Sigma” has evolved from a ground-breaking management system to one of the most proven methods for instituting change, reducing errors and eliminating inefficiencies. These management utilities run through the entire spectrum of organizational applications, from confronting the serious issues mentioned above to routine business functions.
The resurgence of Japan’s economy in the 70’s and 80’s is largely attributed to TQM. “In the auto industry, manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda became major players. In the consumer goods market, companies such as Toshiba and Sony led the way. These foreign competitors were producing lower-priced products with considerably higher quality.”
Note: © Six Sigma is a trademark of the Motorola Corporation

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