The Six Sigma method involves studying the frequency of each type of error, and its resulting impact. In each case, the most serious potential impact of an error is the death of the patient. However, the study also presented research about patients who were harmed but did not die as a result of medication errors.
3. Revere explains that the relevance of Six Sigma extends beyond the need to improve the quality of care at hospitals. Six Sigma is being used at hospitals to identify a number of improvement opportunities. The opportunities identified include:
* Increasing operating room throughput
* Reducing inventory levels of drugs and other hospital supplies along with their associated carrying costs
* Reducing waiting time in the emergency room waiting area
* Reducing the time between seeing a doctor in the emergency room and being admitted to the hospital if necessary
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 determination...
Power Of Six Sigma In Hospital & Healthcare Management. (2000, January 01). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 10:56, November 27, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303666513.html