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Omnex Unified Lean/Six Sigma™ in Health Care

Drawing on 20 years of experience in an enormous range of manufacturing and service industries, Omnex has been a pioneer in the project-based approach to Unified Lean/Six Sigma TM. Progressive healthcare organizations are building on the success of TQM to focus on sustained operations excellence using systemic, project-based approaches.

The Omnex approach has two major advantages: the investment in training and workshops is captured when projects are completed, and the participants learn how to successfully manage a project while linking events and activities. This results in substantial improvement while people are still in training.

Omnex' Unified Lean/Six SigmaTM delivers just-in-time knowledge transfer applied through client project teams to meaningful operational issues. It assures that people in multiple locations or departments will be learning the same thing in the same way, even with customized implementations that meet the unique requirements of specific projects undertaken in specific clinical environments.

Based on a long-term, strategic plan, the Omnex Unified Lean/Six SigmaTM can transform an entire organization, instilling a lean and excellence oriented culture operating in a highly efficient and effective health care delivery system providing the best and most cost effective care available.


  • Reduce Costs and Improve Quality
    • Increase Productivity
    • Shorten Process Cycle Times
    • Transform the organization's culture


  • Reduce delays (patient, lab or other hospital processes)
  • Increase capacity of practice or hospital without adding resources
  • Reduce Variation, Reduce Costs, and Increase Team Work
  • Improve Healthcare Outcomes
  • Achieve extraordinarily high levels of patient and clinician satisfaction


By enabling the organization to achieve Systemic Improvements in the flow, efficiency and effectiveness of clinical and administrative processes, producing:

  • Reduction/elimination of Muta* (Waste) (Refer to Sidebar "Wastes in Healthcare")
  • Development of level, pull flows in systematic clinical and administrative processes
  • Reductions in patient waiting time
  • Increasing clinical "engagement time" of Doctors, Nurses and clinical staff
  • Improving information flow:
    • Availability and Timeliness
    • Accuracy
    • Completeness
  • Instilling of "lean thought and culture" from Top Management to the Admissions Desk

A significant Unified Lean/Six SigmaTM implementation project typically takes between four and six months. The project-based workshops approach allows client teams to immediately apply lessons learned. This proven standardized approach can create a 16% bottom line improvement in 6 months. Additionally, and probably of more importance, the team learns how to successfully link all activities and events together while learning to replicate and sustain future projects.

Wastes (Muda) Applied to Health Care

  • Overuse/provision of services. Underuse/provision of services
    • Performing unnecessary tests.
    • Prescribing unnecessary pharmaceuticals.
  • Waiting
    • Patient wait times (in the exam room, in the office, for tests, etc).
    • Waiting for test results, etc.
    • Waiting for patient(s)
  • Transportation or Movement
    • Moving patients between sites without enhancing care or providing value
    • Moving materials between work centers, between desks, between machine without creating value.
  • Stock/Inventories beyond the operational minimum
    • Overstocked and/or obsolete supplies
    • Unused skills in the workforce
  • Processing and Complexity
    • More steps than are needed to produce a result
    • Multiple types of appointments beyond the minimum required, layers of control that add no value (such as signatures, approvals)
    • Multiple/redundant entries of information
    • Non-cooperation between clinicians (surgical tray setup varying between surgeons, lack of care coordination, etc)
  • Motion of employees
    • Looking for information, bending / reaching for materials, searching for records, etc.
  • Defects / Correction of problems
    • Mistakes in execution, prescriptions
    • Procedures performed incorrectly or to out-of-date protocols
    • Relying on repeated, non-value-added checks to identify and correct errors (Do-overs)

Case Studies and Examples:

Commonwealth Fund Case Study: Applying the Quality Improvement Techniques of Manufacturing Industries to Medical Practice:


Six Sigma, Lean and Lean/Six Sigma

Breakaway Lean in Healthcare

Excelerated Six Sigma

Unified Lean Six Sigma