Publisher’s Note, May 2017
Welcome to the month of May! Here in Portland, Oregon, it’s been one of the rainiest years ever, so we’re looking forward to the arrival of brighter days, an inspiration for cleaning out the cobwebs literally and figuratively. We devote this issue to the topic of Lean Six Sigma management principles—a real-life way of cleaning out those sticky places in the workplace, a way of stepping back and determining where we’ve gotten congested and backed up in our workflow, a way of having an entire team work together to determine where problems lie and how to solve them. Lean Six Sigma has proven to be invaluable for Directors of Surgical Services in their healthcare organizations, saving hospitals millions of dollars in waste, creating a better workflow, and most importantly, improving patient care.
Training and certification in Lean Six Sigma, in addition to being a method of achieving operational excellence, is also a signifier of a higher level of professional accomplishment for Directors of Surgical Services. It has become increasingly important for nurses to demonstrate their worth to their workplaces–in addition to their hard work, intelligence, experience, savvy, and devotion. Educational degrees matter more these days, and training and certifications like Lean Six Sigma are a way of strengthening the case that nurses are not just hospital functionaries—they are the brains and hands, they are the ones running the show, and they are doing so with incredible preparation and commitment to their profession.
In the last issue we highlighted the new CSSM— Certified Surgical Services Manager—credential, another means of lifelong learning and professional improvement in the profession. We are offering free CSSM test preparation for our allied Directors of Surgical Services—and the response so far has been absolutely phenomenal. We appreciate that response and will continue to support and focus on the importance of professional development for our valued constituency.