Challenges Of Implementing Lean Within The Healthcare Sector

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1.0 Chapter one: Introduction “As global healthcare expenditure soars, and as systems are increasingly required to deliver better care to more people using less resource, the challenge to explore the promises of lean thinking is compelling” (Young and McClean, 2009 p.309). In the UK the government has set deadlines for Accident and Emergency (A&E) patients to be dealt with (Boseley, 2015). The hospitals are facing challenges for this deadline. In this context the implementation of lean can enable hospitals improve their efficiencies whiles at the same time reducing cost. This dissertation looks into the opportunities and challenges of implementing lean within the healthcare sector. 1.1 Background: The lean philosophy centers on the elimination of waste in all forms in an organisation (Shpak, 2016). Lean is usually implemented by initially conducting training, initiating pilot projects and implementing changes (Poksinska, 2010). Some of the benefits of lean implementation includes: improves quality and safety; improves staff moral; improves throughput; improves delivery and helps in cost reduction (Jones and Mitchel, 2006; NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement 2007). The challenges of lean implementation include: resistance to change and lack of team work; limited communication and leadership and staff having less knowledge of the lean concept (Grove et al., 2010; Halling and Wijk, 2013 and Poksinska, 2010). This research is to explore some challenges of
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