Hospital Partners With Syracuse University’s Whitman School
Crouse Hospital has announced that two staff members have earned Black Belt Six Sigma certification from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management. James Gagne, management engineer, and Lynette Johnson, quality analyst, both work in the hospital’s Quality Services division.
Six Sigma is a business management strategy originally developed by Motorola in 1981. It is used in many industries to improve quality by identifying and reducing or removing causes of defects or errors while minimizing variability in processes. In healthcare, Six Sigma is used to address many common challenges, including patient safety, resource utilization, length of stay and patient throughput.
“The benefit of having Six Sigma-trained professionals at Crouse Hospital is that we strengthen our current process improvement initiatives with the addition of a standardized, quantitative methodology,” states Chief Quality Officer Derrick Suehs. This process involves five customer-focused phases – define, measure, analyze, improve and control. “Six Sigma provides a roadmap that supports our overall quality and performance improvement strategy, which makes us a better hospital,” adds Suehs.
In addition to the two Black Belts, Crouse has several other Quality Services staff members who hold Six Sigma Green and Yellow belt certification.
Over the past two years, Six Sigma has been used at Crouse to improve administration of antibiotics, reduce the time from patient arrival in the Emergency Department to entering an exam room and shorten delays in the operating room. In addition, the hospital is currently working with the Whitman School in applying Six Sigma to its Lung Partners Project, which will focus on improving health outcomes for patients with respiratory illness. Crouse has also worked with Whitman students to apply Six Sigma concepts to improve patient transport, instrument sterilization and OR turnover.
Gagne holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering technology, a master’s in organizational management from Central Connecticut State University and an MBA from Lemoyne College. In addition to Black Belt certification, Gagne is certified in Lean Manufacturing Methodologies from the University of Kentucky. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Iowa State University and a master’s in statistics from Texas A&M University.