Effect of six sigma program on the number of surgeries cancellation

Esmat Gheysari, Hojatollah Yousefi, Hossain Soleymani, Soheila Mojdeh


Background: Today, the rate of surgeries is increasing, but surgeries are canceled due to various reasons. Unexpected cancellation of surgeries not only results in disorder in the operating room schedule, but also causes stress for patients and their family and increases costs. We determined the number and causes of surgery cancellations and areas for improvement.

Materials and Methods: This outcome evaluation of Six Sigma program was conducted on 850 cases after the implementation of the program and compared to that of 850 cases which received routine care before the program. Cases were selected through easy sampling during the study. Before the implementation, the number of cancellations was recorded daily and their reasons were investigated. Then, Six Sigma program was implemented in accordance with the reasons for each category and necessary steps were taken to prevent the cancellation of surgeries. Data were collected for 3 months using a three-section data collection form. For data analysis, distribution and relative frequency and chi-square test were used.

Results: The three categories of patient, physician, and hospital system were identified as the main causes. The highest rate of cancellation was related to ENT surgeries (74.19%). No cancellations were made in orology surgeries. The implementation of the Six Sigma program caused a significant difference in surgery cancellation (P = 0.003); 31 (3.6%) cases of cancellation were reduced to 12 (1.4%) cases.

Conclusions: The results showed that Six Sigma program is a pre-surgery care quality improvement program. Patient education and the implementation of the 6 sigma program can be effective in reducing the rate of cancellation of operations.



Efficacy; Six Sigma program; surgeries; surgery cancellation

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