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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 260-266

Reducing hospital-acquired infection rate using the Six Sigma DMAIC approach

Deanship of Quality and Academic Accreditation, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam 34212, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ahmed Al Kuwaiti
Deanship of Quality and Academic Accreditation, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, P.O. Box 40065, Dammam 34212
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_98_16

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Background: Hospital-acquired infection (HAI) is one of the most common complications occurring in a hospital setting. Although previous studies have demonstrated the application of data-driven Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) methodology in various health-care settings, no such studies have been conducted on HAI in the Saudi Arabian context. Objective: The purpose of this research was to study the effect of the Six Sigma DMAIC approach in reducing the HAI rate at King Fahd Hospital of the University, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Methods: Historical data on HAI reported at inpatient units of the hospital between January and December 2013 were collected, and the overall HAI rate for the year 2013 was determined. The Six Sigma DMAIC approach was then prospectively implemented between January and December 2014, and its effect in reducing the HAI rate was evaluated through five phases. The incidence of HAI in 2013 was used as the problem and a 30% reduction from 4.18 by the end of 2014 was set as the project goal. Potential causes contributing to HAI were identified by root cause analysis, following which appropriate improvement strategies were implemented and then the pre- and postintervention HAI rates were compared. Results: The overall HAI rate was observed as 4.18. After implementing improvement strategies, the HAI rate significantly reduced from 3.92 during the preintervention phase ( first quarter of 2014) to 2.73 during the postintervention phase (third quarter of 2014) (P < 0.05). A control plan was also executed to sustain this improvement. Conclusion: The results show that the Six Sigma “DMAIC” approach is effective in reducing the HAI rate.

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