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Project Management - Essay Example

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This chapter sets out to achieve a vast number of literatures related to the Lean principles and techniques employed in the healthcare system, as well as the musculoskeletal conditions whose various forms tend to make patients suffer. The theory of Lean is generally thought as founded on five key principles (Womack and Jones, 2003)…
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Download file to see previous pages Although the applications of Lean in healthcare and the wider public sector are often reported, they were rarely formally evaluated from the academic perspective (Proudlove, 2006 in Jones and Mitchell, 2006). In the same study undertaken by Proudlove, et al (2006), it was suggested that of particular significance to Lean are the use of clear and appropriate terminology and the difficulties in identifying customers and processes in a healthcare setting. Lean is currently the major focus in the NHS in which there appears to be a huge potential of adopting Lean thinking. Proudlove, et al (2006) consider their study with an indication that a deeper appreciation of Lean may be necessary once the undergrowth is clear, as well as how concepts such as those pertaining to customers and value to complex organizations may be translated.
The Lean principle had been thought to integrate with other theories such as the Six Sigma theory, since the two often offer features that complement each other, although there appears to be no consensus on how this may be done (Proudlove, et al., 2006). The manufacturing industry has been using Lean Sigma in its quest for continuous improvement of competitive advantage, which has been its primary goal. The study of Babensky, et al (2004) about how Lean Sigma may work for healthcare system indicates its applicability in this field through its implementation-oriented approach that differentiates it from other quality improvement processes. In the study, the Lean initiatives were implemented using Kaizen Breakthrough Methodology concept, where business improvement objectives guided cross-functional teams in reducing overall lead times through the elimination of wastes in the process.
Lean techniques were also proposed for use in the radiology services, in which all management information and waiting lists were manually produced (Lodge and Bamford, 2008). Lean tools and techniques were needed to redefine the services delivered in relation to customer needs - patients, staff, and other stakeholders, which were undertaken through working groups that comprised a cross-section of professional disciplines and grades and set up with membership from across divisions, departments, and the wider structure of the organization. However, there was a strong resistance to change in the implementation of Lean techniques in radiology services, which was however overcome by effective management of waiting lists (ibid).
In another study conducted by Esain, et al (2008), a longitudinal study was planned and implemented to evaluate the implications and outcomes of planned and emergent change when deploying the 5S, which infers that by understanding the various approaches to implementing organizational change, implementers can better manage Lean improvement programs. The study suggests that a further research is recommended to progress the understanding of Lean approaches to change particularly how the impact of enthusiast converters affects systems change (ibid). Jones and Mitchell (2006) indicates that the NHS has produced significant progress over the last few years, but more significant challenges still need to be addressed, such as financial deficits, hospital-acquired infections, injury and death, capacity constraints, and public and political concerns ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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