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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter / Tate, Jillian R.

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Application of the Six Sigma concept in clinical laboratories: a review

Jeremie M. Gras1 / Marianne Philippe2

1Department of Medical Biochemistry, UCL St. Luc University Clinics, Brussels, Belgium

2Department of Medical Biochemistry, UCL St. Luc University Clinics, Brussels, Belgium

Corresponding author: Jeremie M. Gras, MD, Department of Medical Biochemistry, Rosalind Franklin Tower, level 3, UCL St. Luc University Clinics, 10 Avenue Hippocrate, 1200 Brussels, Belgium Phone: +32-2-7646800, Fax: +32-2-7646930,

Citation Information: Clinical Chemical Laboratory Medicine. Volume 45, Issue 6, Pages 789–796, ISSN (Online) 14374331, ISSN (Print) 14346621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2007.135, June 2007

Publication History

Published Online:


Six Sigma is a global management strategy introduced to the industrial world in the 1980s. This methodology has been widely implemented in companies such as Motorola, General Electric, Allied Signal and many others, with tremendous success in terms of customer satisfaction and global profitability. To achieve similar benefits in the healthcare field, Six Sigma is currently being deployed in several laboratories around the world. Despite this situation, few articles have been published in the peer-reviewed literature on this subject. The aim of this article is to clarify the different aspects of Six Sigma and their potential applications in clinical laboratories, as well as to systematically review articles and books discussing Six Sigma strategy implementation in the laboratory field.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2007;45:789–96.

Keywords: clinical laboratories; processes; quality control; Six Sigma

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