Lean management (LM) has become a popular management approach to increase efficiency and quality in health care. The proposed research project aims to 1) evaluate the impact of implementing LM under consideration of employees’ health in a healthcare setting on employees’ working conditions, employees’ health, and lean work processes and 2) to identify factors predicting a positive impact on each of these three outcomes.
The project builds on the comprehensive evaluation of a lean implementation project within 29 nursing wards of a Swiss university hospital (University Hospital Zurich [USZ]). During one session of the four-day lean workshops in each nursing ward, the employees’ health perspective was introduced based on a survey-feedback method, leading to ward-specific action plans to improve working conditions and health. The study applies a wait list control group design with 16 intervention and 13 control wards. Results will guide other hospitals to adapt and implement lean management in a way that not only optimizes productivity but also employees’ working conditions and health.