Community Health Center of Buffalo

Community Health Care of Buffalo employee performs a checkup.

In 2010, patient activity was on the rise for the Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc. (CHCB) with the recent expansion of its general practice, dental and psychosocial services. Leaders were anticipating 2,000 extra patients each year over the following two years, resulting from a new facility acquisition in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Efforts were being focused on creating one operational system for both the addition and original Buffalo site. Administrators knew that assessing the organization to gain operational clarity, and utilizing the Lean Six Sigma methodology to achieve greater efficiency, would set them on the right path. They turned to UB TCIE to support their endeavor.

The Approach

  • Introduced the problem-solving methodology of Lean Six Sigma to 10 top-level managers
  • Performed an operational excellence assessment by examining organizational operations through interviews, document review and data analysis to pinpoint strengths and gaps
  • Identified comprehensive improvement opportunities via Lean Six Sigma expertise
  • Examined patient flow with a Value Stream Mapping activity involving the chief operating officer, chief financial officer and department managers
  • Trained two directors in waste elimination and process variation reduction techniques with the University at Buffalo’s Certified Lean Sigma Blue Belt program
  • Supported improvement efforts with a culture transformation program for 10 managers

The Impact

  • Reduced patient wait time at the Buffalo site an average 20 percent by preparing for appointments earlier and implementing standardized work procedures for medical office assistants who administer paperwork, screenings and vital statistics
  • Identified patient flow improvements to be implemented at all current and future CHCB facilities
  • Decreased time to complete a typical maintenance work order at the Buffalo facility by an average two days through instituting an electronic reporting system
  • Established a method for tracking costs and labor hours affiliated with repair work
  • Instilled leadership attributes necessary for successfully transforming culture and infrastructure to support continuous improvement and sustainability