Implementation of Lean in Healthcare

By: Christian Gadolin  

Lean has become one of the most widespread manifestations of Quality improvement in healthcare, however, both its suitability in healthcare settings and ability to achieve increased efficiency and quality has been questioned due to the fact that system-wide implementation has been proven difficult. Policy makers and legislators play a pivotal role in enabling healthcare organizations to enact more precise strategies and achieve harmonizing adaptions of guidelines and frameworks in order to avoid superficial implementation and concomitant ill-advised local adaptations. Through a qualitative content analysis of Swedish counties’ annual reports, this papers highlights that policy makers and legislator ought to communicate a more precise ideal of what they perceive is included in the concept of Lean; a more nuanced approach towards why Lean ought to be implement that incorporates a broader span of reasons distinct from financial dilemmas; as well as more developed and broader span of concrete activates that may facilitate Lean implementations. In addition, policy makers and legislator should direct more attention towards the potential conflicts that may arise during Lean implementations due to the institutional complexity found in healthcare organizations, as well as guiding and steering efforts regarding how such conflicts could be balanced and constructively handled.

Lean, Healthcare, Implementation, Quality improvement
Change Management
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Christian Gadolin

Assistant Professor, School of Business, University of Skövde