Lean Six Sigma Reduces Troponin Turnaround Time by 94% for Cardiac Patients in Critical Access Hospital Emergency Department

Troponin is a cardiac marker for acute myocardial infarction, making this lab test a key part of emergency management of chest pain patients. The project goal was to reduce turnaround time for troponin in a critical access hospital emergency department using Lean Six Sigma methodologies. Key improvements included designing a process that created consistency and accountability for each staff member involved in a patient's care and designing an audit sheet that started at registration and followed the specimen through processing. These improvements resulted in a 93.9 percent reduction in turnaround time.

Troponin is a cardiac marker for acute myocardial infarction, making this lab test a key part of emergency management of chest pain patients. The project goal was to reduce turnaround time for troponin in a critical access hospital emergency department using Lean Six Sigma methodologies. Key improvements included designing a process that created consistency and accountability for each staff member involved in a patient's care and designing an audit sheet that started at registration and followed the specimen through processing. These improvements resulted in a 93.9 percent reduction in turnaround time.

This case study is part of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association's annual Quality Excellence Achievement Awards. Each year, IHA recognizes and celebrates the achievements of Illinois hospitals and health systems in continually improving and transforming health care in the state. These organizations are improving health by striving to achieve the Triple Aim—improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction), improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care—and the Institute of Medicine's six aims for improvement—safe, effective, patient centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. To learn more, visit https://www.ihaqualityawards.org/javascript-ui/IHAQualityAward/

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