Developing a practical methodology to improve the health-care services: studying a neonatal intensive care unit case in Oman

Nasr Al-Hinai*, Ahm Shamsuzzoha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to develop a practical methodology to identify possible areas of improvements as well as exploring how to improve the health-care staff flow within a selected department in a hospital. Design/methodology/approach: It focuses on showing how to properly study and analyze the health-care services and processes practiced at a selected department within a hospital. For this, several techniques like non-value-adding activities, time motion study, spaghetti diagram, layout analysis, etc. are used. Findings: To test the proposed methodology, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a hospital in Oman was considered as a case study. The study revealed that this unit has several potential improvements capabilities. Further, this study also discussed possible areas of improvements of this case unit and suggested how such improvements can be implemented. Originality/value: Several possible improvements are suggested and are discussed with the hospital authority, which can be clarified as the re-layout of the NICU rooms, reorganization of the store to improve the staff flow, increase the work efficiency, introduction of Help Us Support Healing policy, etc., which can enhance the entire operational system at the studied NICU.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1425-1442
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Quality and Reliability Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Case study
  • Health-care improvement
  • Improvement methodology
  • Lean
  • NICU
  • Oman
  • Six sigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management

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