There has been considerable interest in the implementation of practices imported from manufacturing into healthcare as a solution to rising healthcare spending and disappointing patient safety indicators. One approach that has attracted particular interest is Lean management and the purpose of this paper is to engage with this topic.
Despite widespread enthusiasm about the potential of Lean management processes, evidence about its contribution to higher organisational performance remains inconsistent.
This paper engages with the major Lean concepts of operations management and human resource management, including just-in-time, total quality management, total productive maintenance and does not engage in-depth with concepts related to employee empowerment, and training.
This paper contributes to the organisational management literature in healthcare by showing that although Lean management seems to have the potential to improve organisational performance it is far from a panacea against under performing hospitals.
It informs policy making by suggesting that a progressive managerial philosophy has a stronger impact on healthcare performance than the adoption of practices from any particular managerial approach.
This paper provides a critical evaluation of the impact of Lean practices in informing healthcare policy. The paper contributes to the organisational management literature in healthcare by showing that even though Lean management in healthcare appears to have the potential to improve organisational performance; there remain problems with its application.
McIntosh, B., Sheppy, B. and Cohen, I. (2014), "Illusion or delusion – Lean management in the health sector", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 482-492. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHCQA-03-2013-0028Download as .RIS
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