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Implementing lean methods in the Emergency Department: The role of professions and professional status

Timmons, Stephen; Coffey, Frank; Vezyridis, Paraskevas


Professor of Health Services Management

Clinical Consultant To The Postgraduate Clinical Skills Prog


The purpose of this paper is to examine the implementation of lean methods in an Emergency Department (ED) and the role of the professions in this process.

Qualitative, semi-structured interviews with ED staff in a UK NHS hospital.

Lean was met with more engagement and enthusiasm by the professionals than is usually reported in the literature. The main reasons for this were a combination of a national policy, the unique clinical environment and the status of the professional project for doctors in emergency medicine.

Research limitations/implications
Single site, one-off study.

Practical implications
The status and development of professionals involved may play a big part in the acceptability of initiatives like lean methods in health care. The longer term sustainability of the organisational changes introduced remains open to question.

This paper analyses the success of lean methods in health care with reference to the professional status and stage of development of the professions involved, using the sociology of professions. This approach has not been used elsewhere.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 11, 2013
Online Publication Date May 13, 2014
Publication Date May 13, 2014
Deposit Date Nov 21, 2018
Journal Journal of Health Organization and Management
Print ISSN 1477-7266
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 2
Pages 214-228
Public URL
Publisher URL