A realist inquiry to identify the contribution of Lean Six Sigma to person-centred care and cultures
Teeling, Sean Paul
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Teeling, S.P., Dewing, J. and Baldie, D. (2021) 'A realist inquiry to identify the contribution of Lean Six Sigma to person-centred care and cultures', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(19), article no. 10427.
A lack of fidelity to Lean Six Sigma’s (LSS) philosophical roots can create division between person-centred approaches to transforming care experiences and services, and system wide quality improvement methods focused solely on efficiency and clinical outcomes. There is little research into, and a poor understanding of, the mechanisms and processes through which LSS education influences healthcare staffs’ person-centred practice. This realist inquiry asks ‘whether, to what extent and in what ways, LSS in healthcare contributes to person-centred care and cultures’. Realist review identified three potential Context, Mechanism, Outcome configurations (CMOcs) explaining how LSS influenced practice, relating to staff, patients, and organisational influences. Realist evaluation was used to explore the CMOc relating to staff, showing how they interacted with a LSS education Programme (the intervention) with CMOc adjudication by the research team and study participants to determine whether, to what extent, and in what ways it influenced person-centred cultures. Three more focused CMOcs emerged from the adjudication of the CMOc relating to staff, and these were aligned to previously identified synergies and divergences between participants’ LSS practice and person-centred cultures. This enabled us to understand the contribution of LSS to person-centred care and cultures that contribute to the evidence base on the study of quality improvement beyond intervention effectiveness alone.