Using Lean Six Sigma to Increase the Effectiveness of an Evidence-Based Quality Improvement Program

Patricia Lavin, Mary Jo Vetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Evidence-based quality improvement (EBQI) is an established methodology for identifying nursing practice changes that improve health care quality and safety. However, EBQI itself does not provide a framework for navigating the barriers to practice change. Local Problem: An EBQI program in an orthopedic specialty hospital fostered many successful quality improvement projects. However, program participants frequently encountered barriers to project implementation. Methods: Lean Six Sigma (LSS) principles, tools, and strategies were incorporated into the EBQI program to help participants overcome organizational barriers to successful implementation. Interventions: LSS interventions included stakeholder alignment, process analysis, change management, project management, structured check-ins, mentoring, and organizational recognition. Results: The addition of LSS principles gave EBQI project leaders new tools for gaining executive support, securing resources, and overcoming organizational inertia to facilitate effective practice change. Conclusions: Lean Six Sigma can increase the effectiveness of an EBQI program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nursing Care Quality
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Lean Six Sigma
  • evidence-based practice
  • evidence-based quality improvement
  • project management
  • quality improvement
  • total quality management
  • Total Quality Management
  • Quality Improvement
  • Humans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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