Hospitals are looking to industry for proven tools to manage increasingly complex operations and reduce costs simultaneously with improving quality of care. Currently, €˜lean€™ is the preferred system redesign paradigm, which focuses on removing process waste and variation. However, the high level of complexity and uncertainty inherent to healthcare make it incredibly challenging to remove variability and achieve the stable process rates necessary for lean redesign efforts to be effective. This research explores the use of an alternative redesign paradigm €“ €˜agile€™ €“ which was developed in manufacturing to optimize product delivery in volatile demand environments with highly variable customer requirements. €˜Agile€™ redesign focuses on increasing system responsiveness to customers through improved resource coordination and flexibility. System dynamics simulation and empirical case study are used to explore the impact of following an agile redesign approach in healthcare on service access, care quality, and cost; determine the comparative effectiveness of individual agile redesign strategies; and identify opportunities where lean methods can contribute to the creation of responsive, agile enterprises by analyzing hybrid lean-agile approaches. This dissertation contributes to the emerging literature on applying supply chain management concepts in healthcare, and opens a new path for designing healthcare systems that provide the right care, at the right time, to the right patient, at the lowest price.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Social Science & Policy Studies
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Rust, T. (2013). Dynamic Analysis of Healthcare Service Delivery: Application of Lean and Agile Concepts. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.wpi.edu/etd-dissertations/456
agile, lean, healthcare, simulation, service, supply chain, system dynamics