Can Lean Six Sigma be used to reduce medication errors in the health-care sector?

Yaifa Trakulsunti, Jiju Antony*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present the implementation of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) to reduce medication errors, by using four case examples. The paper will also suggest appropriate Lean and Sigma tools to improve the medication process. Design/methodology/approach: The authors critically analyze four case examples that used LSS projects, to demonstrate the approach, benefits, success factors and lessons learnt. Findings: LSS is a powerful process improvement methodology that could be applied by health-care sectors to reduce medication errors, increase patient safety and reduce operational costs. Common Lean and Six Sigma tools play a significant role in improving and sustaining the medication process. Practical implications: It is necessary for the project team to select the most appropriate LSS tools to address medication process problems. Adoption of a LSS roadmap could help health-care organizations in the successful implementation of LSS. Originality/value: The paper is valuable for health-care professionals seeking to reduce errors in the medication process or other processes that need to be improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-433
Number of pages8
JournalLeadership in Health Services
Issue number4
Early online date1 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2018


  • Health care
  • Lean
  • Lean Six Sigma
  • Medication errors
  • Six Sigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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