Implementing Lean healthcare: Things to consider when making the change
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 12 credits / 18 HE creditsStudent thesis
The pressure on the healthcare sector is increasing all over the world. The amount of treatable diseases increases and the time spent with each patient decreases. As a reaction towards the way the healthcare works today, patient-centred healthcare has become increasingly popular. Bringing the patient into the centre also needs changes in the staffs’ way of working. One way of making these changes is by implementing Lean healthcare.
This thesis uses a systematic review approach to find out what organisational changes have been made at hospitals where they have implemented Lean healthcare and how the implementations were done.
The results showed that the most important thing was to engage the staff at an early point. Those hospitals that had representatives from all the different categories of the staff were the ones who managed to make the modifications with less effort and they also had an easier way of maintaining them.
The most obvious similarities in the organisational changes the hospitals had made were that they clearly defined who were supposed to do what and that they changed the work into multi-disciplinary teams. By that the hospitals saved a lot of time both for the staff and for the patients.
Lean thinking has similarities theories of cognitive science, like distributed cognition and safety barriers and it could get inspiration from these areas to enhance the implementations.
There are few articles concerning the organisational changes that have been made at hospitals when implementing Lean healthcare. However the results of this thesis was that the most important thing when implementing Lean healthcare is to involve everyone at an early stage and the only way to get Lean healthcare to really work is by changing the attitude and making people realise that improvement is a never ending process. The changes that were most common among the hospitals were to clearly define and document who was supposed to do what and to change the structure to multi-disciplinary teams working together.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 20 p.
Lean healthcare, healthcare organisation, healthcare efficency, structural review, distributed cognition
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-85146ISRN: LIU-IDA/KOGVET-G--12/026--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-85146DiVA: diva2:566856
Subject / course
Cognitive science programme