I believe that a quality management process that is easy to understand is more readily accepted than other TQM disciplines. The ability to identify processes that are out of specification is an essential first step to solving the problem. From the point of view of a hospital patient, if all hospitals were to use Six Sigma, and if hospitals were required to publish quality information, then consumers meaning patients could make meaningful decisions about where to go for healthcare service.
Revere, L., Black, K. (2003) "Integrating Six Sigma with total quality management: a case example for measuring medication errors." Journal of Healthcare Management,48:(6), 377-393.
4. The idea behind Six Sigma in this article is that if a hospital can measure how many defects it has in a process, it can systematically eliminate them and get as close to zero defects as possible. There are a number of ethical issues associated with the measurement of medication errors discussed in this article. Specifically, the hospitals were most concerned with medication errors that resulted in patient deaths. They were less concerned about errors that result in harm but did not cause death. However, the study ignored medication errors that did not result in harm or death. The ethical question is this: Is the hospital deliberately ignoring or dismissing as unimportant medication errors that do not result in harm or death. The other ethical issue that was not addressed is this: Who decides whether a medication error causes harm? Another way of addressing this issue would be to ask: Is it even possible for a medication error to occur that does no harm to a patient, or is it more likely that someone is making arbitrary determinations as to what does and does not constitute harm to a patient.
5. Six Sigma is a process that helps organizations focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and service