International Pharmacy Sciences And Research
INTRODUCTION: When the global economy is services-driven and more than 75% of the GDP of most developed countries is contributed by services, India, though known globally for services offered in the field of IT, BPO, Finance, Healthcare, Telecommunication has to improve the quality of services offered and the skills of the workforce to maintain sustainable competitive advantage 1.
Quality management became imperative for the manufacturing sector in the 1970s and 1980s, for service organizations in the 1980s and 1990s, and, finally, for the healthcare industry in the 1990 onwards 2. Today, there is ever growing demand for improved public service delivery especially in Medical world. Health care today is highly dynamic and offers creative advances in technology and treatment. It is a complex web overburdened by resource limitations, other constraints inefficiencies, negligence, errors and other issues that threaten the safety of patient care and service delivery. In the current competitive scenario, the demanding corporate strategies and the ever rising branding world many hospitals and healthcare set-ups strive to implement the best and stand out as a benchmark in their relative domain 3.
Pioneered at Motorola in the mid-1980s, Six Sigma was initially targeted to quantify the defects occurred during manufacturing processes, and to reduce those defects to a very small level. Motorola claimed to have saved several million dollars.
Another very popular success was at GE. Six Sigma contributed over US $ 300 million to GE’s 1997 operating income.4 Today Six Sigma is delivering business excellence, higher customer satisfaction, and superior profits by dramatically improving every process in an enterprise, whether financial, operational or production. The term “Six Sigma” refers to the ability of highly capable processes to produce output within specification. In particular, processes that operates with six sigma quality. The defects levels are belowdefect levels below 3.4 defects per (one) million opportunities. Six Sigma’s implicit goal is to improve all processes to that level of quality or better.
The Six Sigma quality certification was established by the International Quality Federation in 1986, to judge the quality standards of an organization. While the particulars of the methodology were originally formulated by Bill Smith at Motorola in 1986, Six Sigma was heavily inspired by six preceding decades of quality improvement methodologies such as quality control, Total Quality Management and Zero Defects.
Key Elements of Six Sigma:
- Based on voice of customers- To meet customer requirement and achieve their satisfaction level in a minimum time.
- Quantify the defects and opportunities- To measure the causes of defects and to identify opportunity to improve.
- Defining processes and metrics- Three important metrics of six sigma are sigma level, defects per million opportunities and yield. It is important to determine all these values to measure the current performance of the organization.
- Team building and involving employees- Because six sigma leads to implement new methodologies based upon HR shift, new job description and classification to improve process by reducing defects.
The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma methodology is the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of improvement projects. This is accomplished through the use of two Six Sigma sub-methodologies: DMAIC and DMADV. The Six Sigma DMAIC process (defines, measure, analyze, improve, control) is an improvement system for existing processes falling below specification and looking for incremental improvement and also used to develop new processes or products at Six Sigma quality levels. It can also be employed if a current process requires more than just incremental improvement.
Both Six Sigma processes are executed by Consultants who are Six Sigma Green Belts and Six Sigma Black Belts, and are overseen by Six Sigma Master Black Belts and Champions 5.