There were an estimated 18.1 million cancer cases around the world in 2020. Of these, 9.3 million cases were in men and 8.8 million in women.* Lean and Six Sigma methodologies can aid in the care of cancer patients, the screening for cancer, and the use of chemotherapy drugs. We’ll look at applications from the USA, Ireland, and Italy and finish with a video on cancer proton therapy.



Using Lean Six Sigma for Developing a Tracking system for Cancer Care Patients: USA – New Mexico


In a report titled “Systems Automation for Cancer Surveillance: A Lean Six Sigma Project for Tracking Care of Patients With Head and Neck Cancer” authors  Barbara Flores, Gregory W. Price, and James D. Rayl discuss a Lean Six Sigma project for tracking the care of cancer patients.

The report includes:

  • 5 Whys Analysis
  • Dashboard Algorithm
  • Dashboard Display Example
  • Spreadsheet and Automated Dashboard Comparisons
  • Procedures and Appointments Dashboard Displays

An automated tracking system was devised to identify new patients with head and neck

cancer and to track follow-up tests and surveillance appointments after treatment

You can access the report here.


Lean Six Sigma Methods Applied to Cancer Screening System Improvement: Ireland


In a paper titled “Zap it track it: the application of Lean Six Sigma methods to improve the screening system of low-grade mucinous neoplasms of the appendix in an acute hospital setting” authors Kathleen McGrath and others discuss the use of Lean Six Sigma to improve cancer screening.

NOTE: Low-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasm (LAMN) is a rare malignancy with symptoms varying depending on the clinical manifestations.

The paper includes:

  • Fishbone Analysis of Variation in Surveillance
  • 5 Why Tree
  • FMEA by Process Steps
  • Implementation Plan
  • Increase in Patients Who Had Annual Follow Up
  • Percentage of Leaflets Received by Patients

Copy and paste the following link into your browser to read the paper.


Lean Six Sigma Tools Applied to Reduce Safety and Health Risks: Italy


In an article titled “Risk management and cost reduction of cancer drugs using Lean Six Sigma tools” author Andrea Chiarini explores the use of Lean Six Sigma to reduce safety and health risks for those medical professionals who manage cancer drugs and economic improvement.

The article includes:

  • As Is Flow of Antiblastic Drug
    • NOTE: Antiblastic drugs are used in chemotherapy
  • As Is Value Stream Map of Antiblastic Drug Flow in Hospital
  • Example FMEA for Drug Preparation
  • Pareto Analysis of Antiblastic Drug Consumption
  • Distribution of Inventories In Hospital Before Improvements
  • Cause and Effect Diagrams
    • Risk for Physician and Nurse
    • Inventory Level
  • Improved FMEA for Drug Preparation

NOTE: To access the article, copy and paste the link below into your browser.


Proton Therapy for Cancer


Learn about Cancer Proton Therapy in this video from MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

You can watch the video here.




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