How To Complete Six Sigma Certification for Health Care Professionals

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published January 3, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Six Sigma is an effective strategy that can help improve a company's organizational procedures to provide better services to the general public. When this methodology is specifically applied in the health care industry, it can minimize medical errors, improve the efficiency of patient care services and, ultimately, reduce overall costs for both patients and the health care organization. Completing your Six Sigma certification can not only help you improve your own efficiency as a health care employee, but it can also open up opportunities for advancements in your career.

In this article, we discuss the Six Sigma Certification in Health Care, including its benefits, the various levels you can achieve and how to become certified.

What is Six Sigma in health care and what are its benefits?

Six Sigma in health care is a highly effective set of tools and techniques that identify flaws within processes and improve efficiency within health care organizations. When applied, it can improve the effectiveness of a variety of processes, which not only optimizes the success of the organization but also limits errors and shortcomings. This methodology can be used to improve the systems and procedures of any type of institution, but it has been very effective in improving the efficiency of health care systems.

Using Six Sigma principles in health care provides several benefits that range from eliminating errors and improving patient safety to increasing revenue and providing overall better health care to the general public. Other benefits of the Six Sigma methodology include:

  • Providing the best treatments with the latest technology

  • Delivering safe and effective health care options

  • Offering better care at lower costs

  • Addressing the need for more hospital staff and health care providers

  • Improving challenges surrounding liability and litigation

  • Eliminating waste and reducing mistakes

  • Increasing staff and employee morale

Read more: What Is Six Sigma?

What is a Six Sigma Certification in Health Care?

A Six Sigma Certification in Health Care program trains individuals working in the health care industry how to apply this method in their specific field. It provides them with the tools they need to solve problems, simplify processes, create patient-focused environments and address several types of health care challenges. For example, an individual with this certification can analyze medical billing procedures, detect and adjust any areas of weaknesses, note procedures that are successful and optimize the entire medical billing process.

This certification can also enhance your career prospects by adding another skill set to your portfolio, making you a valuable asset in your respective field. Training health care employees in Six Sigma procedures can also help health care organizations reduce mortality rates, decrease time spent in hospitals, improve patient care and improve the overall quality of services. As a health care employee, your career and the health care organization you work for can greatly benefit from six sigma certification. Choosing a Six Sigma certification can:

  • Increase your overall performance

  • Reduce common medical errors made

  • Improve the services you provide

  • Enhance your quality of care

  • Provide you with leadership opportunities within your organization

  • Create a safe environment for patients and colleagues

Related: Complete Guide to the Six Sigma Steps

5 levels of Six Sigma Certification in Health Care

Within most Six Sigma training programs, there are various levels of certification. As a health care employee, you can review what each certification teaches and what it enables you to accomplish in your health care career. Here are the five levels of Six Sigma Certification in Health Care:

1. White Belt Six Sigma Certification in Health Care

White belt certification is a good starting point for those who are not yet familiar with the Six Sigma methodology. It's ideal for those who would like to understand the basics of Six Sigma and learn how to apply this set of tools in their respective field. This level helps you understand the fundamentals of Six Sigma and how it can positively influence the health care organization for which you work.

2. Yellow Belt Six Sigma Certification in Health Care

Yellow belt certification explores how improving processes can connect to an organization's profitability. This level teaches health care professionals how to identify and control practices that are draining the company's resources. When you receive your yellow belt certification, you can work with and explain to others in the organization how Six Sigma practices can improve overall efficiency.

3. Green Belt Six Sigma Certification in Health Care

Green belt certification provides its trainees with advanced knowledge of Six Sigma methodologies. It's ideal for the health care employee who would like to advance in their career. This certification enables you to develop valuable problem-solving skills and use statistical methods and detailed analyses to improve the quality of work of those under your leadership. By addressing these issues, you can aid in cultivating profitability and customer satisfaction.

4. Black Belt Six Sigma Certification in Health Care

If you would like to lead Six Sigma practices in your health care organization, then the black belt level is ideal for you. Plus, it has the potential to significantly improve and expand your employment opportunities. A black belt certification shows others that you are qualified to take on Six Sigma responsibilities for your specific health care department and the organization as a whole.

A health care employee with a black belt certification displays enhanced leadership qualities, understands the particulars involved with team dynamics and can explain the importance of roles and responsibilities to their team members. You can also coach, advise and create efficient systems and processes that help managers and employees achieve the common goals of the organization.

5. Master Black Belt Six Sigma Certification in Health Care

Master black belt is the highest level of certification for Six Sigma training programs. With the knowledge learned at this level, you have the ability to produce an effective system for improving organizational processes, eliminating high-cost errors and developing key indicators that can effectively measure its success or shortcomings. Those with master black belt certification in Six Sigma for health care are sought after by consulting firms for their expertise. You can also coach other black and green belts who may need additional training and assistance.

Related: What Are the Benefits of Six Sigma Training?

Who should get the Six Sigma Certification in Health Care?

Many health care professionals can accelerate their careers with a Six Sigma certification. It can provide them with a competitive advantage as they learn real-life skills with this practical training. There are already several leadership roles in the health care field that currently require a Six Sigma certification. Anyone who provides health care services or works in the health care industry may benefit from obtaining this certification, including:

  • Department administrators

  • Family medicine providers

  • Nurses and medical aides

  • Medical office staff

  • Clinical support staff

  • Residential health care managers

  • Nursing home staff

  • Private practice administrators

  • Pharmaceutical staff

  • Laboratory personnel

Related: 5 Benefits of Six Sigma Certification for Professionals and Companies

How to get the Six Sigma Certification in Health Care

Anyone in the health care industry who would like to receive more training, acquire highly sought-after job skills and expand their career path can complete a Six Sigma certification. Consider the following steps to help you get the Six Sigma Certification in Health Care:

1. Research Six Sigma certification programs

With the advent of online classes, the possible Six Sigma certification programs available to you can be endless. While you can do an internet search for Six Sigma training for your particular expertise, you may also want to reach out to fellow colleagues and discover which training programs they used and why they found them valuable.

If there is a specific Six Sigma skill you would like to add to your health care career portfolio, be sure to also review the specific tools and concepts that you'd learn in any of the certification programs you're considering. You can also email or call the college, university or institute that is offering the certification you would like and ask detailed questions about their certification training.

2. Choose a certification program

The specific certification program you choose may depend on your professional career goals. If you would like a basic understanding of Six Sigma principles in order to improve your own efficiency in your field, then a white belt certification program would be a good choice. If you're contemplating making some career changes or looking to expand your job responsibilities within your organization, then a green belt certification or above would be the optimal choice.

3. Begin and complete the certification program

Once you have chosen a training program that fits your goals and lifestyle, register for that program and choose the method of training that best suits you. Some certification programs offer their classes online, in person or a combination of the two. Next, you need to complete the coursework. Many certification programs are self-paced and can be completed according to your schedule, while others follow a set schedule and need to be completed on time. For example, if a certification training program is a six-week program, it needs to be completed within that time frame.

Once you've completed the training coursework, you can take and pass the certification exam. Upon passing the exam, you receive your Six Sigma Certification in Health Care.

Please note that none of the companies or certifications mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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