A critical review of implementing lean and simulation to improve resource utilization and patient experience in outpatient clinics

Abdulqader Al-Kaf, Raja Jayaraman, Kudret Demirli, Mecit Can Emre Simsekler, Hussam Ghalib, Dima Quraini, Murat Tuzcu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore and critically review the existing literature on applications of Lean Methodology (LM) and Discrete-Event Simulation (DES) to improve resource utilization and patient experience in outpatient clinics. In doing, it is aimed to identify how to implement LM in outpatient clinics and discuss the advantages of integrating both lean and simulation tools towards achieving the desired outpatient clinics outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: A theoretical background of LM and DES to define a proper implementation approach is developed. The search strategy of available literature on LM and DES used to improve outpatient clinic operations is discussed. Bibliometric analysis to identify patterns in the literature including trends, associated frameworks, DES software used, and objective and solutions implemented are presented. Next, an analysis of the identified work offering critical insights to improve the implementation of LM and DES in outpatient clinics is presented. Findings: Critical analysis of the literature on LM and DES reveals three main obstacles hindering the successful implementation of LM and DES. To address the obstacles, a framework that integrates DES with LM has been recommended and proposed. The paper provides an example of such a framework and identifies the role of LM and DES towards improving the performance of their implementation in outpatient clinics. Originality/value: This study provides a critical review and analysis of the existing implementation of LM and DES. The current roadblocks hindering LM and DES from achieving their expected potential has been identified. In addition, this study demonstrates how LM with DES combined to achieve the desired outpatient clinic objectives.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)734-758
    Number of pages25
    JournalTQM Journal
    Volume35
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 7 Mar 2023

    Keywords

    • Appointment scheduling
    • Lean
    • Outpatient clinics
    • Patient flow
    • Simulation
    • Utilization

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