Purpose – The aim of this paper is to provide a review of the existing literature on lean healthcare. It seeks to describe how this concept has being applied and to assess how trends and methods of approach in lean healthcare have evolved over the years. Design/methodology/approach – The paper surveys the applications of lean healthcare in the current literature and classifies over 90 works according to a taxonomy suggested. Findings – Though there seems to exist an agreement about the potential of lean healthcare, it remains a challenge for academics and practitioners to evaluate lean healthcare under a more critical perspective. Practical implications – This work is helpful not only for healthcare practitioners and for researchers in private and public organisations, but also for journal editors and reviewers because it offers ready access to an up to date comprehensive review. Originality/value – Since lean started being applied in healthcare, no effort to provide a complete resource surveying the existing literature has been done.
Leadership in Health Services – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 2009
Keywords: Lean production; Health services; Production scheduling; Just in time; Patients