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Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals by Jay Arthur

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CHAPTER 8Is There an Improvement Project in My Data?

Lean Six Sigma professionals often talk about picking the “low-hanging fruit,” but what if the low-hanging fruit is invisible. I’ve noticed that one of the biggest challenges improvement professionals face is figuring out how to develop improvement stories from the volumes of data that reside in financial accounting systems, electronic medical records, and other data sources. In most cases, the data look like Figure 8.1. They show dates, physicians, diagnoses, patient age, length of stay (LOS), adverse events, and discharge status. Do some physicians have more complications, higher costs, or longer lengths of stay?

These kinds of data remind me of the old joke about the father who finds his ...

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