Former ESTEEM Student Applies Six Sigma Methodologies to Healthcare

Author: Notre Dame ESTEEM

Szymon Ryzner, double domer and 2010 graduate of the ESTEEM Program at Notre Dame, has taken the tools and skills acquired from ESTEEM to the medical world.  Szymon is a Performance Improvement Facilitator for the Central DuPage Hospital - Delnor Health System in Illinois. Szymon uses both Lean and Six Sigma methodologies to improve efficiency in various hospital departments such as laboratories, pharmacies, and inpatient units to reduce errors and improve turnaround time.  Szymon is also the project manager for the merging of two local hospital laboratories.  


Six Sigma began in the 1980’s by Motorola and is a business management philosophy with its tools and techniques tracing back over 80 years to the early works of Shewhart, Juran, Deming, Taguchi, and others.  The term “Six Sigma” is a registered trademark of Motorola, but the coining of the term is credited to former Motorola quality engineer, Bill Smith (1929-1993).  In the early days, the focus of Six Sigma was to address operational issues (mainly in manufacturing) such as quality problems by removing defects and errors through study of process variability. Early adopters of six-sigma methodologies included Allied Signal (now Honeywell International) and General Electric with focus on supporting continuous improvement and reducing costs.  Today, companies apply Six Sigma methodologies to accelerate innovation, grow market share, and improve customer relationships.  The service sectors such as healthcare are now implementing this management philosophy to its operations to manage costs and ultimately improve the quality of patient care

While at Notre Dame during his undergraduate years Szymon majored in Science-Business. Following graduation in 2009, Szymon went on to join the ESTEEM Program.  Szymon worked on his capstone thesis project with Professor Mayland Chang and the project focused on the commercialization aspects of a stroke treatment using gelatinase inhibitors.

When asked about ESTEEM and how it has helped him in his current work Szymon replied, “The greatest benefit of ESTEEM was it further focused my education into the fields of science and engineering technology. It helped to give me an entrepreneurial mindset which is a great asset at my current job where I look to make both incremental and breakthrough improvements in how we provide our services to the community.” Szymon looks to continue to make innovative changes in healthcare with the hope that such entrepreneurial behaviors will become the new standard in the medical world.

Way to go Szymon!