Woman’s Hospital Team Earns LEAN Six Sigma Green Belt

October 29, 2017

For Patient Care Innovation to Enhance Hospital Performance

As part of a statewide effort to reduce antibiotic resistance, a physician-led team from Woman’s Hospital achieved Green Belt Certification in LEAN Six Sigma (LSS) through the Louisiana Hospital Association’s Physician Leadership Academy. After completing a series of focused training sessions between March and August, Dr. Renee Harris, OB-GYN, and Fancy Manton, Clinical Supervisor in Pharmacy, applied the LSS steps to a project to verify that vancomycin, an antibiotic typically reserved to treat resistant infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is indicated within 72 hours of initiation. The team presented the findings and best practices to other hospital leaders throughout the state.
“According to the CDC and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), robust antibiotic stewardship processes and activities ‘improve patient outcomes, reduce resistance and decrease the spread of infections caused by multidrug resistant organisms,’” said Cathy Griffiths, Woman’s Vice President of Quality. “By having key leaders at Woman's Hospital with LSS certification, we will be able to escalate and optimize our current processes. Dr. Harris and Fancy Manton's expertise in LSS methods will improve our antibiotic stewardship program.”
“We congratulate the team from Woman’s Hospital for achieving Green Belt Certification and improving patient safety in Louisiana,” said LHA President and CEO Paul Salles. “Tools like LEAN Six Sigma empower physician-led teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs within their communities. The LHA is proud of the more than 150 individuals statewide who have obtained green belts through this program since 2015.” 
“As Master Black Belt and instructor for the LEAN Six Sigma certification program, I can attest that Woman’s Hospital is making a difference in patient care for the people of the greater Baton Rouge community,” said A3 Healthcare President and CEO Erin Zeringue. “Our biggest opportunities in healthcare include making our patient care processes highly reliable and delivering care more affordably. LEAN and Six Sigma give hospital staff the tools to rapidly address challenges in healthcare like infections, readmissions, falls, and antibiotic stewardship – all critical factors in the transformation of healthcare, and in turn, the health of our communities.”
LEAN Six Sigma is a quality improvement tool, which was first developed by the airline and automotive industries, that helps healthcare providers apply statistical methods to reduce waste and improve patient safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that the misuse of antibiotics can harm communities by increasing the spread of resistant organisms and recommends Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs as a way to limit unnecessary use.