An Integrated Lean Supply Chain Framework for U.S. Hospitals

Subhajit Chakraborty
Coastal Carolina University, USA

Jorge A. Gonzalez
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, USA

We apply a lean supply chain framework to the healthcare industry in the U.S., drawing support from lean systems philosophy. We conceptualize a view of the U.S. healthcare ecosystem that places a hospital and its admitted patients at the center and describes how all entities inside and outside the hospital work can implement lean principles to improve patients' quality care. This application depicts how a holistic consideration of hospital resources available in both the internal and external supply chain would increase the optimal use of such resources and ultimately serve patients. We offer propositions suggesting that an integrated supply chain perspective would be helpful for delivering high quality of care to patients admitted to the hospital. This perspective suggests that hospitals need to streamline the three types of flows–physical product, information and financial–with elements in the internal supply chain and maintain collaborative relations with entities in their external supply chain. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of our research.

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This paper has been downloaded 300 times since published. The persistent DOI of this paper is DOI:10.31387/oscm0310206.