oa Journal of Contemporary Management - Lean SPRInT : a management tool for initiating Lean in public hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal

Volume 16 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



South African public hospitals are beset with barriers to the realisation of strategic health outcomes owing to operational inefficiency. The Lean SPRInT aids managers with Lean implementation by assessing their hospitals’ readiness status for Lean to improve operational efficiency.

An observational descriptive study employing quantitative methods was conducted across 73 public hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Simple random sampling was used to attain a minimum sample size of 218 senior managers who completed semi-structured questionnaires. Exploratory Factor Analysis was used to identify latent constructs. Confirmatory Factor Analysis was used to determine the reliability and validity of factors. Structural Equation Modelling assessed the acceptability of the model.

The participant response rate was 96.8% (n=211). Three Critical Success Factors (strategic leadership and organisational attitude; integration of Lean elements, tools and techniques; and basic stability in operational processes), from which the electronic Lean SPRInT was developed, were derived after several iterations of Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA). All reliability and validity conditions have been met, thus rendering the model reliable and valid.

Lean SPRInT is a management tool for assessing hospitals’ readiness status for Lean. A six-step process for the deployment of Lean SPRInT is proposed. A phasic approach for Lean implementation, together with close monitoring using the HLA tool is recommended. Unified efforts and decentralised decision-making are more likely to lead to effective implementation.

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