Kaizenovate Blog 

Hey everybody this is Dr. Jay coming to you from Rockville, Maryland and today we’re going to talk about something near and dear to my heart and that is process.

When I think about really successful practices I think about the 3 Ps: having a strong Purpose, having great People (the right people in the right seats on the bus), and executing on Process. And when I think about process I think about Six Sigma.

Six Sigma is a quality assurance methodology to reduce defects in any given process.

It was developed by Motorola in the early seventies because when they were manufacturing pagers they were literally manufacturing pagers with tons of defects. They’d get evaluated at the end of the manufacturing line, and a large percentage of them were defective.

So engineers said wait, let’s not wait until these pagers get to the end of the manufacturing process to evaluate their defects. Let’s control the 3-5 key process steps to ensure these pagers get manufactured in defect-free fashion.

Mathematically speaking, Six Sigma is 3.4 defects per million opportunities, so as close to perfection as you can get.

What’s important about this process, this controlling of process, is that your patients are experiencing the result of your processes.

So let me use an analogy. You go to a restaurant, you like steak. You order it medium rare, but it comes out well done. What do you do? You send it back. They bring you a new steak, and you eat your steak and you’re happy. A few months later you go back to the same restaurant, you order it medium rare, and it comes back raw. Are you going back to that restaurant? The answer is probably not.

Because when patients or clients experience defects in your process, it reduces or eliminates customer loyalty. So that’s why process is so important.

But when we think about the restaurant example, what were the variables that drove the steak coming out too well done or coming out raw? And the first thing that always comes to mind for people is that maybe the order was taken wrong or the messaging didn’t get to the cook. When we really drill down there are other variables that drive that result. Maybe the cooking temperature was different, maybe the cooking time is different, maybe the thickness of the steak was different, and therefore you have consistency and time and temperature that the steak will come out differently because the thickness was different.

What are the three to five key variables that you must control in your macro processes? Your new patient process, your regular visit process, your billing process. Those processes that drive results for you and your patients.

Their experiences must be controlled to a level of 3.4 defects per million opportunities. And when you do that, you deliver remarkable service, you deliver remarkable experiences and you deliver remarkable business results.

So there you have it. That’s my overview of Six Sigma today. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me, send me an email, and we can talk more about Six Sigma and process.

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