Utilizing System Modelling Techniques in Lean Healthcare Applications

  • Maitha Alkaabi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


There is an increasing awareness that healthcare organizations have been facing challenges on efficiency and quality due to increasing demand and cost. In order to address such challenges, lean has gained a growing attention in healthcare to develop safe, efficient and waste-free operational processes. In lean applications and implementation, stakeholders' involvement and engagement have a vital importance to identify all potential wastes in dynamic and complex healthcare systems. To guide stakeholders and provide a comprehensive picture about all system-wide wastes, system modelling techniques (SMTs) can be used during the kaizen events. Although the contribution of SMTs has been shown in other safety-critical industries and in particular healthcare contexts, such as hazard identification and risk assessment, there is no clear evidence regarding their usability and utility in waste identification in lean healthcare applications. Further, there is no clear evidence on what types of wastes can be identified by using a particular type of SMT. Although both lean and SMTs have similar motivation facilitating process improvement, the lack of studies linking these two creates a gap in the healthcare industry context.To address this gap, this study aims to identify and evaluate a number of SMTs through interview-based questionnaires to address their contribution in identifying particular type of waste. Further, SMTs are provided during kaizen meetings in a real lean application in a healthcare setting to see their potential impact on stakeholder involvement and waste identification.
Date of AwardMay 2019
Original languageAmerican English


  • health systems
  • lean
  • system modelling techniques
  • process maps
  • kaizen

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