Lean Six Sigma and its effect on CA in Health Care

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Suzan Al-Najjar, Suzari Abdul Rahim



Purpose: Organisations are operating in a dynamic competitive environment alongside the increase in competition. As a result, healthcare organisations are continually seeking opportunities to eliminate waste and enhance their quality performance. One of the ways in which quality performance (QP) can be improved is to adapt LSS initiatives that help organisation to gain a sustainable advantage. Moreover, one of the major challenges in developing countries is the lack of mechanisms to evaluate the critical success factors (CSFs) of quality initiatives, which hampers the journey toward sustainability. However, while there have been some attempts to improve the understanding of such variables in few studies, these previous studies have limitations in which LSS and CSFs have not been fully demonstrated. Hence, there is a need for further improvements in previous studies toward expanding the existing knowledge of LSS, CSFs and quality performance. Accordingly, grounded on RBV theory, the purpose of this study is to present a conceptual framework that brings together the key parameters of CSFs and LSS that can help the organisations to achieve a competitive advantage (CA) through enhancing the QP in health care.

Design/methodology/approach: A critical review of the models of lean six sigma, CSFs, QP and CA measure were undertaken to create the conceptual framework. A synthesis of the existing literatures provides the basis for the development of the conceptual framework of the CSFs measures. Within the developed framework, particular emphasis is placed on LSS as mediator variable in the association between CSFs and quality performance. Hence, the present study provides theoretical, methodological, and practical contributions for LSS and the findings are expected to provide guidelines to improve QP in healthcare sector.

Findings: The framework provides a systematic way of evaluating the measures of LSS, CSFs (Top management commitment, customer focus), QP and CA in health care. Accordingly, the newly developed conceptual framework identifies the effect of LSS on QP and also describe the direct and indirect relationships between LSS and CA im the healthcare sector.

Originality: This research is valuable for the professionals working in healthcare seeking to improve QP in the hospitals. Moreover, this study is beneficial to researchers and academics working in LSS fields to by way of exploring the importance of CSFs for Lean six sigma implementation in hospitals. However, since limited studies have been conducted to reconnoiter the status of lean six sigma implementation in healthcare this study is expected to provide theoretical and practical contribution for LSS approach in health care.


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