Using the DMAIC model of Six Sigma, as a process improvement model in nursing

Using the DMAIC model of Six Sigma, discuss a recent process improvement model in which you were involved with in your role as an assistant director of nursing at your long-term care facility. Define the project, explain how data was measured and analyzed. Discuss improvement methods employed and if the process improvement was controlled or hardwired.

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Define the project

The project I was involved in was to improve the process of medication administration at our long-term care facility. The current process was inefficient and error-prone, and we wanted to find ways to improve it.

Measure and analyze data

We first collected data on the current process by observing nurses as they administered medications. We also reviewed medication administration records and incident reports. This data showed us that there were a number of problems with the current process, including:

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  • Nurses were often interrupted while administering medications, which led to errors.
  • The medication administration records were not always accurate, which made it difficult to track medication usage.
  • There was no system in place to identify and prevent medication errors.

Improvement methods employed

We used a number of improvement methods to address these problems, including:

  • Implementing a standardized medication administration process.
  • Providing nurses with more training on medication administration.
  • Using barcoding to scan medications before they are administered.
  • Implementing a system to track medication usage and identify potential errors.

Controlled or hardwired

The process improvement was controlled by monitoring the new process and making adjustments as needed. We also hardwired the improvement by making the new process part of the standard operating procedures for medication administration.


The results of the process improvement were very positive. The number of medication errors decreased significantly, and the nurses were more confident in the new process. We were also able to save money by reducing the amount of medication that was wasted.


The DMAIC model of Six Sigma was a valuable tool for us in improving the process of medication administration at our long-term care facility. The model helped us to identify the problems with the current process, develop and implement solutions, and measure the results of the improvement. I believe that the DMAIC model can be used to improve many other processes in healthcare and other industries.


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