Improving Healthcare Operations

The Application of Lean, Agile and Leagility in Care Pathway Design

  • Sharon J Williams

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Sharon J Williams
    Pages 1-13
  3. Sharon J Williams
    Pages 15-27
  4. Sharon J Williams
    Pages 29-44
  5. Sharon J Williams
    Pages 45-56
  6. Sharon J Williams
    Pages 57-68
  7. Sharon J Williams
    Pages 69-77
  8. Sharon J Williams
    Pages 107-119
  9. Sharon J Williams
    Pages 121-131
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 133-136

About this book


“This study provides an excellent, detailed view of how improvement concepts such as Lean and Agile can be operationalised within a healthcare environment.  The carefully crafted analysis provides a unique insight to what operations management and supply chain management thinking can contribute to understanding the design of patient pathways for two long-term conditions.”

-       Zoe Radnor, Dean, School of Business and Professor of Service Operations Management, University of Leicester, UK

This book examines the design of two care pathways to establish how key principles associated with systems thinking, quality improvement, and supply chain management can improve the design of these services. ‘Lean’ has typically been the prominent approach when improving the design of healthcare systems and is often selected by healthcare professionals to standardize and improve the delivery of care. Previous literature shows there has been varying success in the application of ‘Lean’, the author presents a study which examines the benefits of introducing ‘Agile’ as an alternative and complementary approach. Improving Healthcare Operations explores when ‘Lean’ and ‘Agile’ are most applicable, and instances where a hybrid approach can be employed. Including empirical qualitative data collected from two care pathways, it intends to provide organizations with an alternative in order to produce the level and quality of care that is expected by patients. 

Sharon Jayne Williams is a Senior Lecturer and Lead of the Swansea Centre for Improvement and Innovation at the College of Human & Health Sciences, Swansea University, UK, and is currently an Improvement Science Fellow sponsored by the Health Foundation. Previously she was a lecturer in Logistics and Operations Management at Cardiff Business School, UK, and a senior member of the Clinical Systems Improvement team at Warwick University Medical School, UK. Her research looks at the design of patient care pathways using improvement and redesign techniques originating largely from other sectors.


supply chain management technology innovation healthcare management organization

Authors and affiliations

  • Sharon J Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Human & Health SciencesSwansea University SwanseaUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information