Improvement Science Models to Promote Quality and Safety

Model Evaluation

Improvement science models are often used to enhance quality and safety standards in healthcare settings (Ernst et al., 2010). Particularly, they are designed to integrate evidence-based improvement practices in service delivery processes through improvements in patient safety and service quality (Ernst et al., 2010). In this assignment, two healthcare models are selected for review – lean six sigma and innovation models. The latter is considered disruptive because it can change institutional processes to conform to new and unrelated systems, while the lean six-sigma model improves patients’ safety by defining, measuring, analyzing, designing, and verifying healthcare processes and systems (Murphree, Vath, & Daigle, 2011).

The lean six-sigma and innovation models could foster a culture of quality and patient safety by anticipating and monitoring innovation change processes in a healthcare environment (Polk, 2011). Typically, doing so involves the inclusion of evidence-based practices in healthcare service delivery. Lean six-sigma and innovation models also have the potential to improve quality and safety by accelerating change processes in an organization and standardizing similar functions to minimize errors (Polk, 2011).

They also allow users to learn quality improvement processes and patient safety standards that would generally enhance health services (Polk, 2011). This capability reinforces it as a framework for evaluating patients’ safety and healthcare quality standards and a tool for nurturing a culture that thrives on the same two principles (Sadeghi, Barzi, Mikhail, & Shabot, 2013).

Application of Lean Six-Sigma in a Healthcare Setting

The lean six-sigma framework could be used to improve the safety and quality of health care services at Johns Hopkins Hospital through the improved management of electronic health records. Considering the Johns Hopkins Hospital has massive operations covering different aspects of healthcare service delivery, the lean six-sigma technique could improve quality and safety in the firm through improved data management (Polk, 2011).

It could also boost the efficiency of the hospital’s data management processes by digitizing medical health records. This strategy could improve the quality of operations at the facility by reducing the probability of human errors occurring (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 2012). The speed and efficiency of the hospital’s operations could also improve through distinctive processes, such as drug dispensing, which depend on effective and efficient data management.

Lab testing and bed assignment are some processes at John Hopkins Hospital that could directly benefit from improved data management. The lean six-sigma and innovation models are good tools for realizing these gains. Broadly, they accentuate three aims (efficiency, effectiveness, and safety) of effective health care service delivery as described by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Two tenets of the IOM (effectiveness and efficiency) could contribute to improved quality of health services through waste avoidance and the use of scientific evidence to improve the quality of health services (Institute of Medicine, 2001). These two elements of IOM help to promote patient safety because they minimize harm to patients from systems or healthcare models that are designed to help them.


Ernst, M. M., Wooldridge, J. L., Conway, E., Dressman, K., Weiland, J., Tucker, K., & Seid, M. (2010). Using quality improvement science to implement a multidisciplinary behavioral intervention targeting pediatric inpatient airway clearance. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35(1), 14-24.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement. (2012). How to improve. Web.

Institute of Medicine. (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Murphree, P., Vath, R. R., & Daigle, L. (2011). Sustaining Lean Six Sigma projects in health care. Physician Executive, 37(1), 44-48.

Polk, J. D. (2011). Lean Six Sigma, innovation, and the change acceleration process can work together. Physician Executive, 37(1), 38-42.

Sadeghi, S., Barzi, A., Mikhail, O., & Shabot, M. M. (2013). Integrating quality and strategy in healthcare organizations. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.