Chapter 5Reducing Hospital Late Charge Incidents

This case study is set early in the deployment of a Lean Six Sigma initiative at a community hospital. You were hired as a master black belt to help support the Lean Six Sigma effort. Management identified the billing department, and in particular late charges, as an area that tied up millions of dollars per year, and hence an area badly in need of improvement. This case study describes how you, along with a team from the billing department, analyze billing data in order to define project opportunities for green belt teams.

The case study is almost entirely embedded in the Uncover Relationships stage of the Visual Six Sigma Data Analysis Process introduced in Chapter 2 (Exhibit 2.3). You are a detective, searching for clues that might explain the large number of late charges. Your work encompasses a number of the techniques described under Uncovering Relationships in Exhibit 2.4. Your findings will initiate the work of project teams; these teams will work through all six of the stages of the Visual Six Sigma Data Analysis Process to solve the problems you identify.

In this case study, you analyze the late charge data for January 2015. The data set consists of 2,032 records with late charges. The columns include both nominal and continuous variables, as well as dates. You visualize the data using histograms, bar graphs, Pareto plots, control charts, scatterplots, mosaic plots, and tree maps, learning about potential outliers and ...

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