Lean Healthcare

The purpose of this initial research is to present findings relating to how lean is implemented in healthcare and identify which lean concepts and tools have not still been implemented. The research of Lean implementation in healthcare was conducted by content analyzing of different articles of scientific journals that are available on the following database: Scopus, Web of Science and Google scholar, since March to May 2014 and then added articles through a snowball approach, it was included empirical studies of lean thinking application and theoretical works about lean healthcare; in fact, the systematic review and search criteria were based on expressions like lean healthcare, lean hospital, lean manufacturing in hospitals; and also, it was made a careful cross-reference search encompassing all the references cited. The articles describe initial implementation stages and emphasize technical aspects with positive results. In fact, it was identified different approaches, methodologies and improvements that allow to understanding how far lean is implemented across healthcare systems. The data was split in categories that summarized the similarities and differences and then connected those first order data with established theories of lean thinking. Lean thinking has been applied successfully in a wide variety of healthcare settings. While lean theory emphasizes a holistic view, the findings suggest that lean implementation tends to be isolated rather than system-wide with narrower technical application that just consisted of reorder the hospitals settings whereas the unevenness of the patient’s flow and the overburden of healthcare resources were the same. To better realize the potential benefits of a lean implementation, healthcare organizations need to keep on pursuing value creation for patients through the adoption of the standard of lean which is based on “first flow, then synchronization, then efficiency.”
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Ingegneria della Produzione e Gestionale