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Open AccessArticle

Kaizen–Kata, a Problem-Solving Approach to Public Service Health Care in Mexico. A Multiple-Case Study

Department of International Business Management, Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP), San Andrés Cholula 72810, Mexico
GIDE Group, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of León, 24071 León, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3297;
Received: 10 April 2020 / Revised: 6 May 2020 / Accepted: 7 May 2020 / Published: 9 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Performance Work Practices and Kaizen: How Sustainable are They?)
Purpose: Mexico’s public hospitals are experiencing major operational problems which seriously affect the care of Mexican citizens. Some hospitals have initiated efforts to apply the Kaizen philosophy to improve this situation. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to analyze the methodological impact of Kaizen–Kata implementation in Mexican public hospitals that have tried to solve operational problems using this improvement approach. Design/Methodology/Approach: The service organization implemented Kaizen–Kata methodology in order to improve one operational problem-process in health care. A case-study approach was used in this research in order to understand the effects of the Kaizen–Kata methodology in solving problems in their operational procedures. Findings: Six specific drivers were identified when applying the Kaizen–Kata methodology. Furthermore, the impact on the levels of implementation of the Kaizen–Kata methodology in each of the improvement teams studied was also identified. Research Limitations: The main limitation of the research is that only three case-studies are presented thus it is not possible to generalize its results. Practical Implications (Where Possible): Other public hospitals can use this specific example as a working guide to solve the operational problems of health systems. Originality/Value: A methodology of continuous improvement in manufacturing was imported from the industry sector for application in an operational health care process. The Kaizen–Kata methodology contributed significantly to improving issues involving delays, customer complaints, process reworks and extra-cost, among other effects of operational problems. View Full-Text
Keywords: kaizen; kaizen–kata methodology; case study; health care sector kaizen; kaizen–kata methodology; case study; health care sector
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Suárez-Barraza, M.F.; Miguel-Davila, J.A. Kaizen–Kata, a Problem-Solving Approach to Public Service Health Care in Mexico. A Multiple-Case Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3297.

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