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A critical review of implementing lean and simulation to improve resource utilization and patient experience in outpatient clinics

Abdulqader Al-Kaf (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Raja Jayaraman (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Kudret Demirli (Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)
Mecit Can Emre Simsekler (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Hussam Ghalib (Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Heart and Vascular Institute, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Dima Quraini (Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Heart and Vascular Institute, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Murat Tuzcu (Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 12 April 2022

Issue publication date: 7 March 2023

515

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and critically review the existing literature on applications of Lean Methodology (LM) and Discrete-Event Simulation (DES) to improve resource utilization and patient experience in outpatient clinics. In doing, it is aimed to identify how to implement LM in outpatient clinics and discuss the advantages of integrating both lean and simulation tools towards achieving the desired outpatient clinics outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical background of LM and DES to define a proper implementation approach is developed. The search strategy of available literature on LM and DES used to improve outpatient clinic operations is discussed. Bibliometric analysis to identify patterns in the literature including trends, associated frameworks, DES software used, and objective and solutions implemented are presented. Next, an analysis of the identified work offering critical insights to improve the implementation of LM and DES in outpatient clinics is presented.

Findings

Critical analysis of the literature on LM and DES reveals three main obstacles hindering the successful implementation of LM and DES. To address the obstacles, a framework that integrates DES with LM has been recommended and proposed. The paper provides an example of such a framework and identifies the role of LM and DES towards improving the performance of their implementation in outpatient clinics.

Originality/value

This study provides a critical review and analysis of the existing implementation of LM and DES. The current roadblocks hindering LM and DES from achieving their expected potential has been identified. In addition, this study demonstrates how LM with DES combined to achieve the desired outpatient clinic objectives.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This publication is based upon work supported by funding from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Citation

Al-Kaf, A., Jayaraman, R., Demirli, K., Simsekler, M.C.E., Ghalib, H., Quraini, D. and Tuzcu, M. (2023), "A critical review of implementing lean and simulation to improve resource utilization and patient experience in outpatient clinics", The TQM Journal, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 734-758. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-11-2021-0337

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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