Healthcare providers strive to improve service quality by implementing various quality management programs. Customers tend to seek for higher quality of care when choosing treatments, providers, and health plans. For healthcare organizations that desire to provide high quality care and compete in the global market, choosing a quality management program to implement is critical for performance and efficiency. Many studies have been conducted to analyze the effectiveness of such programs. Lean, Six Sigma and Total Quality Management (TQM) are three programs that will reviewed by three different case studies in efforts to understand them and to compare and contrast their capabilities.
In a qualitative study, Sobek (2011) identifies and articulates the critical success factors and strongest inhibitors to the implementation and sustainability of lean quality management practices within healthcare organizations. The study methodology consisted of a thematic analysis of literature, a cross-case analysis of medical centers that have attempted lean implementation, and a Delphi study conducted by a panel of experts in lean healthcare application. The findings showed that lean has been successful in healthcare and shows much potential. The two strongest success factors were widespread involvement of all key stakeholders and strong leadership support. Emphasis was placed on communication, training, problem solving, and standardizing for increased success with lean procedures. Despite the improvements shown with lean standards in the manufacturing industry, lean healthcare still faces many barriers.
Many healthcare facilities struggle with lean implementation and sustainability beca...
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..., Chakhunashvili, A., & Bergman, B. (2010). Lessons from sweden's first large-scale implementation of six sigma in healthcare. Operations Management Research, 3(3-4), 117-128. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12063-010-0038-y
Sobek,Durward K.,,II. (2011). Lean healthcare implementation: Critical success factors. IIE Annual Conference.Proceedings, , 1-8. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1190332495?accountid=38569
Sunder, M. V. (2013). Synergies of lean six sigma. IUP Journal of Operations Management, 12(1), 21-31. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1321940772?accountid=38569
Yasin, M. M., & Alavi, J. (1999). An analytical approach to determining the competitive advantage of TQM in health care. International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 12(1), 18-24. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/229692589?accountid=38569
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