JMP and Visual Six Sigma: A Recipe for Optimal Healthcare Outcomes
William J. Baum, Cactus Consulting, and Philip Ramsey, North Haven Group
JMP® statistical discovery software from SAS® is helping healthcare leaders solve the real problems of data management in healthcare quality improvement. This new initiative is meant to answer the call to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery at the level of clinical microsystems, healthcare’s equivalent to the smallest replicable unit [SRU], and is a direct response to the 1999 Institute of Medicine [IOM] report, To Err Is Human.There is a current trend towards population-based healthcare, which incorporates elements of clinical epidemiology into decision making at the point of care. JMP® can offer providers, managers, and quality improvement [QI] specialists state-of-the-art analytical tools for decision support at a reasonably low cost. Visual Six Sigma [VSS](1) is a flexible and comprehensive strategy to use JMP® in any setting, for a variety of QI applications. Dynamic visualization offers healthcare professionals an intuitive style of statistical analysis that is easily accessible to non-professional statisticians.The problem of readmissions from Chronic Heart Failure provides an excellent example of how VSS can lead to a better understanding of healthcare outcomes, both financial and health related. Financial outcomes in healthcare are not only subject to market forces, but also to legislation that governs reimbursement for services. The reimbursement process, itself, is confounded by error at multiple levels. This underscores the importance of understanding the challenges of healthcare reform and how to implement sound strategies for data management in clinical systems. The unique combination of JMP® and VSS enables healthcare leaders to do that successfully, with an intuitive approach to data analysis.