An integrated model of LEAN production concepts, practices, and climate as a tool for improving efficiency and effectiveness in hospitals and R&D units

Projekt: Forschung


  • Frese, Michael (Wissenschaftliche Projektleitung)
  • Carroll, John (Partner*in)
  • Naveh, Eitan (Partner*in)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology


In order to survive, organizations need to keep high efficiency and effectiveness by targeting the right quantity, at the right quality, at the right time, and in the right place. Lean production seeks to identify and eliminate wasted time, effort, and resources, leaving only streamlined processes that add value at every step. For example, by reducing protective buffer inventories, and improving the organizations? capacity to ameliorate the potential damaging effects of variability in supply, processing time, or demand. Lean production has been implemented in many industries and has been proved highly successful in improving organizational processes, efficiency, and effectiveness. Recently, Lean has been implemented in two unique contexts; hospitals and Research and Developments departments. Both contexts are characterized by the need to balance on the one side innovation and be creativity, while on the other side, the need to standardize processes to keep high efficiency and effectiveness. Hospitals have started to implement Lean practices in order to improve their efficiency and quality of care.

However, there are mixed results regarding their success to improve processes and in some cases, there are even reports of negative effects such as higher costs and more treatment errors. In the context of R&D departments, there is a tension between on the one side the need to innovate and be creative while at the same time adhere to Lean practices as standardization and minimum variation. The proposed network aims to develop better understanding of Lean production implementation in hospitals and R&D units, and specifically, identify conditions that explain why and how Lean production would have a positive effect on hospital and R&D units? efficiency, quality, and potential for innovation. Improving efficiency and quality in the LEAN way have the potential to save healthcare and R&D costs.