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An Honest Conversation: Quest Diagnostics and Six Sigma

When we find or experience firsthand a Six Sigma success story, we can’t wait to share it with like-minded people. In a way, you feel vindicated because there are so many naysayers that are ready to find flaws. Well, we found perfection (or pretty close to it).

Quest Diagnostics Six Sigma DFSS

Quest Diagnostics is the Fortune 1000 healthcare company, and is a great example of how Six Sigma continuously prepares for the future of a company. Quest Diagnostics started implementing Six Sigma back in 2000, and things were very different back then. Let’s fast forward to present time now: with the internet and the globalization of medicine, testing and even billing moves at lightning speed.

It is evident that QD has kept up. In fact let’s look at what they did from the outside in. Healthcare matters will touch all of us at some point in our lives, if it hasn’t already. If one has dealt personally with health insurance, co-payments, and lab testing, then you have probably dealt with Quest on some level.

Their billing system is just about flawless, easy to read and follow; one knows exactly what you are paying for as well as when the service was provided. It is obvious that VOC (Voice of the Customer) was a huge part of their Six Sigma toolbox that they relied on.

Six Sigma Methodology and Tools

The Voice of the Customer is a very important tool, of course, since the customer is the life source of your business. If there aren’t any customers frequenting your business, this would be akin to a major organ (i.e. heart, lungs) shutting down.

Quest Diagnostics uses the DFSS methodology to keep up with the times, and it seems to be working for their company quite well. DFSS (Design For Six Sigma) and DMADV (Define-Measure-Analyze-Design-Verify) describe virtually the same process, with more of an emphasis on the actual process steps on the DMADV. DFSS is the process for a new product or process from scratch.

Interested in learning more about the methodologies we discussed? For more information on our Six Sigma courses or services, please visit


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