Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Tlapa D., Tortorella G., Fogliatto F., Kumar M., Mac Cawley A., Vassolo R., Enberg L., Baez-Lopez Y. (2022)

Effects of Lean Interventions Supported by Digital Technologies on Healthcare Services: A Systematic Review

Revista : International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volumen : 19
Número : 15
Páginas : 23
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Despite the increasing utilization of lean practices and digital technologies (DTs) related to Industry 4.0, the impact of such dual interventions on healthcare services remains unclear. This study aims to assess the effects of those interventions and provide a comprehensive understanding of their dynamics in healthcare settings. The methodology comprised a systematic review following the PRISMA guidelines, searching for lean interventions supported by DTs. Previous studies reporting outcomes related to patient health, patient flow, quality of care, and efficiency were included. Results show that most of the improvement interventions relied on lean methodology followed by lean combined with Six Sigma. The main supporting technologies were simulation and automation, while emergency departments and laboratories were the main settings. Most interventions focus on patient flow outcomes, reporting positive effects on outcomes related to access to service and utilization of services, including reductions in turnaround time, length of stay, waiting time, and turnover time. Notably, we found scarce outcomes regarding patient health, staff wellbeing, resource use, and savings. This paper, the first to investigate the dual intervention of DTs with lean or lean–Six Sigma in healthcare, summarizes the technical and organizational challenges associated with similar interventions, encourages further research, and promotes practical applications.