The principles of lean are widely being adopted in the healthcare sector. Interestingly the realized benefits appear not to warrant the interest from managers and policy makers. This paper presents an analysis of 3 Danish healthcare organizations which all introduced lean initiatives. However, only a limited set of tools has been used and the productivity gains are limited focusing on peripheral activities and not the core medical activities. This apparent problem with lean in health care is hypothesized to be caused by 1) the nature of healthcare work, 2) the rationality and notion of validity among different groups of healthcare professionals and 3) different rationalities in lean and professionals in healthcare. Through analysis of three cases it is concluded that the nature of work is significantly different from manufacturing primarily because of the reactive nature of work. Finally, different rationalities are observed between different groups of healthcare professionals leading to problems employing the lean tool-box.
|Title of host publication||Advances in Occupational, Social, and Organizational Ergonomics|
|Number of pages||860|
|Place of Publication||Boca Raton|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
|Event||3rd International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics - Intercontinental , Miami, United States|
Duration: 17 Jul 2010 → 20 Jul 2010
Conference number: 3
|Conference||3rd International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics|
|Period||17/07/2010 → 20/07/2010|
Nielsen, A. P., & Edwards, K. (2010). The paradox of lean in healthcare: Stable processes in a reactive environment. In Advances in Occupational, Social, and Organizational Ergonomics (pp. 335-345). Taylor & Francis.