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Using Simulation and Six-Sigma Tools in Improving Process Flow in Outpatient Clinics

Heidarzadeh, Elham and Sajadnia, Sahar (2017): Using Simulation and Six-Sigma Tools in Improving Process Flow in Outpatient Clinics.

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Abstract

It is apparent that outpatient clinics are becoming complex and need to be optimized and improved on a daily basis. In this project, we used several methods including discrete event simulation, quality function deployment (QFD), and failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) to optimize and improve these clinics. We conducted this study at a major suburban outpatient clinic to propose main recommendations which most likely apply to a vast majority of such clinics. Firstly, the simulation-based modeling that we ran assisted us in recognizing optimum staff number which would result in decreasing waiting times that patients usually spend and making the process flow at the facility smoother. Secondly, QFD approach for analyzing outpatient clinic requirement is also proposed and realized through a case study. It is realized that the proposed approach can adjust service quality toward customer requirements effectively. Lastly, the health care failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) that we implemented as a novel method to discover conditions and active failures and to prioritize these based on the potential severity of risks associated with them.

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