Lean-Six Sigma ThinkApp enables $20bn in Health Savings

Client: University of Nebraska & The American College of Cardiology

Category: Lean-Six Sigma Methodology

What Was Broken

Cardiologists are under mounting pressure; both insurance companies and federal health regulators are demanding that the cost of cardiac appointments be reined in. They insist that appointments be shortened without impacting the quality of patient care. Yet without some completely fresh thinking, none of the parties involved will see their needs met.

Cardiac patient care was broken.

Collective Intelligence

In response to this crisis, John Windle, Chief of Cardiology at the University of Nebraska, working with the American College of Cardiology, received a grant to unpick the patient-care-provider equation. Appointing a team of leading cardiologists, Windle identified patients’ electronic health records (EHRs) as the primary focus.

Engaging ThinkTank, the team collaborated to rethink how EHR data could be reorganized to help consultants save time.

The Fix

ThinkTank’s lean six-sigma ThinkApps provided the framework that enabled the group to rapidly gather input on what cardiologists consider to be the most important disease groups, and the critical data for them to assess a patient’s case before their consultation.

Through a series of ThinkTank sessions based on Delphi modeling methodology, the team was able to define and agree on the patient information that should be pushed to the top of cardiac EHRs.


ThinkTank has helped them transform the approach to cardiac patient appointments. When rolled out, the new approach should:

  • Shorten patient appointments by 5-8 minutes
  • Improve both the quality of appointments and the resulting health outcomes

This will result in more focused appointments that take up less time, and deliver healthcare savings amounting to $20bn.