This paper demonstrates that Lean management serves as a foundation to leverage innovation throughout the healthcare projects. An organisation that successfully accommodates both Lean and innovation will gain higher competitive advantage and reach long-term sustainability. Innovation in the healthcare sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is encouraged through responses to the challenges of patient needs and government pressure on the organisations towards innovation and sustainability concerns. The objective of the paper is to investigate critical success factors (CSFs) for effective diffusion of Lean innovation in healthcare projects in the UAE. A conceptual model is developed to explain the CSFs for diffusion of Lean innovation in the healthcare projects. A public hospital that implemented Lean innovation projects in the UAE was selected as a case study and the data provided through the interviews were reviewed and analysed. It is concluded that the successful implementation of Lean innovation had outstanding implications: It has markedly and sustainably decreased patient access and waiting time, improved safety and patient satisfaction and supported the hospital culture of empowering front-line caregivers. The championing role of leadership commitment and management support, and employee involvement across all levels is required for successful implementation.
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