(HealthDay)—Incorporating Lean/Six Sigma (LSS) practices can advance pediatric patient discharges, according to research published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Michael J. Beck, M.D., and Kirk Gosik, both from Penn State University in Hershey, assessed the impact of LSS on advancing times of placement of discharge order and patient discharge among hospitalized compared to other children's hospital services.

The researchers found that the median time of order entry was 10:45 compared to 14:05, and the median time of discharge was 14:15 compared to 15:48. Secondary outcomes of length of stay and readmission rates were similar in both cohorts. Faster baseline discharge order entry and patient discharge were seen with the control group, but discharge performance did not improve, despite a significantly lower average daily census.

"We determined that Lean approaches can have an immediate and sustained impact on advancing patient discharges, with no negative [effect] on LOS or ," the authors write.