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Lean bundles in health care: a scoping review

Ayman Bahjat Abdallah (Department of Business Management, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan)
Rasha Zuhair Alkhaldi (Department of Business Management, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan)

Journal of Health Organization and Management

ISSN: 1477-7266

Article publication date: 12 June 2019

Issue publication date: 8 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to review original research on lean management (LM) in health care to identify potential research gaps and present recommendations for future research. The paper also discusses the current state of implementing LM practices in health care. In addition, it presents and highlights “lean bundles” imported from manufacturing, namely, total quality management (TQM), human resource management, just-in-time and total productive maintenance, as a potential implementation strategy of LM in hospitals to optimize overall health care performance.


The scoping review was conducted based on the guidelines specified by Arksey and O’Malley (2005). Relevant included studies were retrieved by searching various electronic databases. The PRISMA guidelines were applied to identify and select eligible studies.


The majority of previous studies used selected practices to measure LM in health care. In most cases, these practices reflected a narrow and biased view of LM. Lean bundles which comprehensively view LM and reflect all its aspects have rarely been discussed in the health care literature. Evidence about the contribution of lean bundles to hospital performance needs to be addressed in future studies.

Practical implications

This paper demonstrates the implementation of the four lean bundles in hospitals. It argues that, instead of adopting one dimension or selected practices of LM, hospitals viewing LM as a comprehensive multi-dimensional approach through the adoption of the four lean bundles are expected to maximize their performances.


This is one of the first works to comprehensively review and discuss lean bundles in the context of health care. It argues that the adoption of the four lean bundles by hospitals will enable them to yield the maximum LM performance benefits. In addition, a proposed survey questionnaire based on the literature review is provided to assist researchers in conducting future empirical studies.



Abdallah, A.B. and Alkhaldi, R.Z. (2019), "Lean bundles in health care: a scoping review", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 488-510.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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