Barriers and enablers of lean tools in medical laboratory industry: A case of Namibia

Michael Mutingi, Hilma D. Isack, Hileni Kandjeke, Charles Mbohwa

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Turnaround time covers activities involving ordering, collection, transportation, preparation, analysis, interpretation, and provision of medical test results to clinicians and patients. Considered as the most important key performance indicator in the medical laboratory industry, turnaround time is influenced by various forms of lean wastes, which are, transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, over production, over processing, and defects. Elimination of these wastes will improve the operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the medical laboratory industry. Given the widespread awareness of what lean can do in the healthcare industry, it worthwhile investigating the factors behind the adoption of non-adoption of lean in the medical laboratory industry. This paper investigates the barriers to and enablers of lean adoption and implementation in the context of medical laboratories in Namibia. Findings from this research indicate that management support plays an important role in enabling lean adoption. On the other hand, lack of support from management is the strongest inhibiting barrier to the successful adoption of lean.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-894
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventEuropean International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management.IEOM 2017 -
Duration: 24 Jul 201725 Jul 2017


  • Barriers
  • Enablers
  • Lean adoption
  • Lean tools
  • Medical laboratory
  • Namibia
  • Turnaround time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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