Biomedical Engineering (Conference Papers)

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  • Publication
    Critical success factors for operational excellence in the pharmaceutical industry: Insights from a qualitative study
    (Springer, Cham, 2023-02-12) O’Callaghan, Elizabeth; McDermott, Olivia; Walker, Gavin; Southern, Mark
    The paper aims to investigate the Critical Success Factors that exist for Operational Excellence methodology deployment in the Pharmaceutical industry. The research will seek to establish the levels of current Operational Excellence awareness and integration in the Pharmaceutical industry in terms of the deployment of Continuous Improvement methodology. The study involves the analysis of the pros, cons, strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of management commitment for the application to the deployment of Continuous Improvement methodologies in the Pharmaceutical industry. A qualitative methodology was utilised by interviewing a cohort of 28 Pharmaceutical manufacturing Operational Excellence and Continuous Improvement practitioners. The study found that while participants advocated and supported the requirement and importance of Operational Excellence, a key Critical Success Factor identified was senior management support in fostering Operational Excellence culture. A top challenge highlighted for Operational Excellence and Continuous Improvement success, particularly in regulated industries, was a regulatory compliance culture and regulatory bureaucracy. The paper provides a valuable resource for organisations to obtain insight into Critical Success Factors for Continuous Improvement and Operational Excellence and in particular, in a regulated Pharmaceutical manufacturing industry
  • Publication
    The digitalisation and virtual delivery of Lean Six Sigma Teaching in an Irish university during COVID-19
    (Springer, Cham, 2022-01-01) McDermott, Olivia; Daryl John Powell, Erlend Alfnes, Marte D. Q. Holmemo, Eivind Reke
    This research discusses how lecturers in an Irish university transferred their classroom-based blended learning Lean Six Sigma modules to online delivery. The transfer from a practical classroom environment to an online classroom needed to be seamless in the students Lean active learning experiences. The output of the paper is to discuss the designing of appropriate delivery methods and practical examples, games, scenarios, exercises in a flipped online classroom. Problem-based learning is ideal for teaching lean manufacturing, driven by a problem-solving culture that values learning as a critical output. The design of a “practical problem based” online Kaizen utilising the virtual classroom as an obeya room enabled students to learn Lean Six Sigma tools and practically deploy the tools. Qualitative and quantitative measures were deployed to assess the success of the transition.
  • Publication
    Mapping the terrain for Lean Six Sigma 4.0
    (Springer, Cham, 2022-01-01) Antony, Jiju; McDermott, Olivia; Powell, Daryl; Sony, Michael
    Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a powerful methodology that integrates the best of two distinct approaches to business excellence: Lean and Six Sigma. While Six Sigma focuses on the systematic reduction of variation within pro- cesses, the Lean approach aims for business growth through waste elimination and the continuous development of people. Given the advent of I4.0, digitaliza- tion now presents the next frontier of industrial improvement. LSS can be inte- grated with I4.0 to further optimize process efficiency. This study is a systemat- ic literature review on the integration of I4.0 and LSS. We present the benefits, motivations, critical success factors, and challenges with this emerging area of research.
  • Publication
    Analysis of the relationship between knowledge management and lean tools during lean implementation in hospitals
    (Springer, Cham, 2023-02-12) Rosa, Angelo; Marolla, Giuliano; McDermott, Olivia
    During the last two decades, lean healthcare has received increasing attention from both researchers and practitioners because it plays an imperative role in quality and safety clinical process improvement. Although there is much evidence of the positive results of the paradigm implementation at the micro level, only in few cases the methodology is implemented at meso level or improvements are observed at organizational level. Among the main factors leading to the failure of meso implementation is the lack of widespread knowledge of lean tools and concepts within the organization. The lean implementation process at the meso level require high efforts to manage the transfer, sharing, integration, and transformation of lean knowledge within the organization. Thus, many researchers have positively assumed knowledge management (KM) as a critical success factor of lean sustainability and meso implementation. Although, the relationship of KM and lean sustainability have gradually become a hot topic, few scholars have investigated this issue in healthcare sector. Based on literature review focusing on the key characteristics of the lean healthcare implementation process, this article aims to bring out the relationships between lean tools, KM and lean sustainability in hospital setting. Results provide some relevant insights for hospitals applying the lean paradigm namely: KM is a critical success factor in disseminating and sustaining lean methodology and lean knowledge degree is strongly influenced by the use of lean tools.
  • Publication
    Implementation experiences of lean organization in healthcare for Apulian hospitals: A longitudinal interview in-depth study
    (Springer, Cham, 2023-02-12) Rosa, Angelo; Marolla, Giuliano; McDermott, Olivia
    The purpose of this study is to explore how representatives of the pilot projects teams and dissemination practitioners, belonging to several hospitals in Apulian hospitals in Italy experienced the implementation of Lean over 3 years. An exploratory and qualitative design was drawn based on data triangulation from semi-structured interviews, documentation analysis relating to Lean implementation and direct observation. The main implementation drivers of the methodology in hospitals were increasing patient value and improving workplace well-being. The panel highlighted three pivotal implementation stages: introduction, spontaneous and informal dissemination, and strategic-level implementation. Critical success and failure factors emerged for each of these stages. During the introduction, expert training and coaching from an external consultant are among the most impactful factors in the success of pilot projects, while time constraints and the adoption of process analysis tools are the main barriers to implementation. However, the absence of managerial expertise to support implementation and organisational constraints, such as departmental organisational structure, do not allow for systemic adoption of the methodology.
  • Publication
    Lean implementation in a painter/decorator micro enterprise: A case study
    (Springer, Cham, 2023-02-12) Nelson, Stuart; McDermott, Olivia
    This research demonstrates how Lean can be applied in a Microenterprise. Utilising a case study in a painter/decorator business, the study aims to show the benefits of applying Lean in a service organisation. The study also investigates how the Enterprise Ireland Lean program benefited the microenterprise case study. The results demonstrated that by utilising Lean tools, a new customer quotation process was designed with reduced the non-value add time to raise a customer quote. An enhanced online quotation process ensured a level-loaded, more value-added process. The study is the first published study of Lean in a painter/decorator and can be leveraged by similar size micro-enterprises to demonstrate the applicability of Lean. For academics and practitioners and informing government funding policy, this study demonstrates that Lean can successfully be deployed in Micro Enterprises. This study demonstrates that government support can aid Lean and enhance economic competitiveness. Further research opportunities are to compare and contrast Lean deployment in other sectors across the microenterprise space.
  • Publication
    Design for Lean Six Sigma Application in a family run multi-generational micro enterprise – A case study
    (Springer, Cham, 2023-02-12) O’Shanahan, John; McDermott, Olivia; Noonan, John
    Existing research emphasises limited success rates for Lean implementation in Small and Medium Sized Organisations. The objective of this research was to test and validate the applicability of Design for Lean Six Sigma methodology in a case study within a micro enterprise. The DFLSS model of Define-Measure-Explore-Develop and Implement was utilised to redesign a new order entry process within the case study organisation. The results confirmed that utilising Define for Lean Six Sigma and the voice of the customer enabled a new order entry design that improved productivity, reduced nonvalue add steps and reduced order turnaround times while increasing revenue. The study demonstrates the applicability of Lean to smaller organisations and the effective application of the Define for Lean Six Sigma methodology.
  • Publication
    Process mining applied to lean management model improving decision making in healthcare organizations
    (International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics, 2023-06) Rosa, Angelo; Massaro, Alessandro; McDermott, Olivia; Antonio Lerro, Daniela Carlucci, Giovanni Schluma
    The paper introduces an innovative approach to model risks in healthcare finding possible solutions in organization models and about Human Resources (HR) managing. Specifically, the method is based on the application of the Business Processing Modelling and Notation (BPMN) workflows in healthcare environments merging Lean management methods and Artificial Intelligence (AI) decision making approaches. The discussion begins with a case study about risk management integrating AI to enable a Decision Support System (DSS) thus defining the innovative BPMN Process Mining (PM) models. The BPMN-PM models are based on AI risk prediction and AI risk classification suitable to optimise the whole HR organizational model. In the specific case study, the AI algorithms allows the optimization of risk assessment. Finally, the work discusses some theoretical BPMN-PM models to integrate in more complex healthcare processes managing efficiently HR. The proposed work provides information about the process design and the key-reading to interpret BPMN-PM workflows
  • Publication
    Cost of quality in construction
    (Springer, Cham, 2023-02-12) O’Connor, Cora; McDermott, Olivia
    The cost of quality while a well-established measure in the manufacturing and other industries, has shown to have limited data available within the construction industry. This case study research article seeks to establish within the construction industry the cost of quality throughout the project lifecycle. The Lean Six Sigma methodology of Design, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control was used to develop a framework to raise awareness and track the cost of quality both good and bad. The Prevention Appraisal Failure model was used to determine the cost of quality across a portfolio of construction projects completed. The research found that cost of failure was in excess of the cost of appraisal and prevention and thus was leading to non- value add effects waste. During the internal audit process a lack of adherence to documented processes within the quality system was identified as directly contributing to the cost of poor quality in a number of projects. An improvement in the tracking of costs was delivered due to the implementation of a structured framework for data capture and a training presentation to raise awareness. The framework is to be a robust structure and framework that could be adapted in other construction companies and possibly other industries.
  • Publication
    Challenges facing medical device companies in Ireland and why operational excellence is not enough
    (Springer, Cham, 2023-02-12) McKernan, David; McDermott, Olivia
    Ireland has developed a highly successful medical device cluster. The cluster experience accelerated growth during the 1990s when many USA multinationals established manufacturing sites. Manufacturing is the driving force that created the cluster with linkages between, universities, venture capital, entrepreneurs, suppliers, and supporting industry. Using Lean tools and principles the sites have established a reputation for excellence. A generation since the sites have been established changes outside of the cluster are impacting its competitiveness. Lean tools and systems may no longer be enough to sustain the cluster. This paper examines the key changes affecting the cluster and highlights the reasons lean principles may not be enough for the cluster to continue to thrive for another generation. The paper provides valuable insights into a strategy for individual firms, and the medical device cluster in Ireland and has lessons for any other industrial cluster.
  • Publication
    Enhancement of a data management system using design for Lean Six Sigma
    (Springer, Cham, 2023-02-12) Eaton, Roisin; Noonan, John; McDermott, Olivia
    Ireland has developed a highly successful medical device cluster. The cluster experience accelerated growth during the 1990s when many USA multinationals established manufacturing sites. Manufacturing is the driving force that created the cluster with linkages between, universities, venture capital, entrepreneurs, suppliers, and supporting industry. Using Lean tools and principles the sites have established a reputation for excellence. A generation since the sites have been established changes outside of the cluster are impacting its competitiveness. Lean tools and systems may no longer be enough to sustain the cluster. This paper examines the key changes affecting the cluster and highlights the reasons lean principles may not be enough for the cluster to continue to thrive for another generation. The paper provides valuable insights into a strategy for individual firms, and the medical device cluster in Ireland and has lessons for any other industrial cluster.
  • Publication
    A lean six sigma training providers transition to a 100% online delivery model
    (Springer, Cham, 2022-01-01) McDermott, Olivia; Walsh, Patrick; Halpin, Lorraine
    This research is a case study on SQT a leading Irish Lean Six Sigma training provider and their transition to online training and the digitalisation of their Lean Six Sigma training programs and other associated programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes and challenges in transitioning from the existing classroom-based training model are discussed. A quantitative survey and qualitative interviews were carried out with the customers (trainee’s and sponsoring employer organisations/clients) of the Lean Six Sigma trainer provider for 9–12 months. The results of the survey on the customers learning experiences with online Lean training is analysed. The results will demonstrate that the move to online Lean training was positive for both the customers and the training provider in terms of quality of delivery, cost minimisation, elimination of non-value-add travel and classroom time, improved online teamwork, program structure and engagement and enhanced benefits of the application of the learning in the workplace.
  • Publication
    An empirical study into Ishikawa's basic tools of QC in European organisations
    (iqcongress2021 (, 2021-06-29) Antony, Jiju; McDermott, Olivia; Sony, Michael
    The purpose of this European study is to investigate the statement of Dr Ishikawa that "95% of problems in processes can be solved using the 7 Quality Control (QC) tools". An online survey instrument was developed, disseminated, and responded to by 228 senior quality professionals from across Europe. The main finding of this study is that just 15% of participants perceived that the seven tools of QC could solve above 90% of quality problems, and 40% had utilised the incorrect tools when problem-solving. Pareto analysis was the most widely used tool across European organisations, while the least used tools are Scatter diagrams and Stratification. The 7 QC¿s tools were widely utilised in Production or Manufacturing areas but least applied in IT, Administration and Finance functions. The common benefits from using the seven basic tools of QC in all sectors include: providing structure to problem-solving efforts, aids problem solving and helps in problem definition, measurement, and analysis. This work presents a list of critical success factors (CSF¿s) required for the proper application of the 7 QC tools, including having management support, having a continuous improvement (CI) program and having a systematic and disciplined approach to problem-solving. This study is the first European research focused on investigating Dr Ishikawa's statement: "95% of problems in processes can be solved using the 7 Quality Control tools". The findings further facilitate an important first step towards understanding the applicability, benefits, and CSFs to utilising these tools in organisations across functions, sectors and globally.
  • Publication
    Lean Six Sigma as an enabler for healthcare operational excellence in COVID-19
    (Purdue University, 2021-06-22) McDermott, Olivia; Antony, Jiju
    Purpose -This paper aims to present the results of a qualitative research interview study on the utilization and importance of Lean Six Sigma methods in the Healthcare sector in COVID-19 and in pandemics in general. Design/methodology/approach -a qualitative interview approach was utilised by interviewing leading Lean Six Sigma academics and practitioners who are expert in and have experience in Lean Six Sigma. Findings – Lean Six Sigma methods are proven and can be utilised in pandemic situations to improve efficiency and resilience in the healthcare system and readiness for pandemics. Research limitations/implications - One limitation of this research was that most of the interviewees who participated in this study come from Europe. Also, the interviews were short and at a high level. There is an opportunity for further detailed quantitative study and longitudinal case study analysis Originality - The paper provides an excellent resource to get an insight into the value of the application of Lean Six Sigma methods in pandemic situations to aid Healthcare process improvement, operational excellence and enhance public and patient safety
  • Publication
    Bridging the osteochondral gap in mandibular condyle reconstruction with multiphasic 3D printing
    (Mary Ann Liebert, 2015-09) Salash, J.R.; Lohfeld, Stefan; Detamore, M.S.; |~|1267872|~|1267880|~|
    Individuals afflicted with temporomandibular joint disorders experience a reduced ability to perform the most basic human functions such as chewing and talking. In advanced disease states, total joint replacement is often necessary to improve range of motion and minimize pain. Current surgical treatments use either autogenous grafts or alloplastic implants to replace the condyle and ramus of the mandible. Although these interventions aid in improving joint function, a tissue-engineering strategy may be useful to expand the range of treatment options and offer an approach that not only restores functionality but also facilitates regeneration of the diseased tissue [1]. Toward this objective, 3D printing technology was used to fabricate patient-specific constructs with precise osteo- and chondroinductive regions to facilitate the formation of osteochondral tissue similar to that found in the mandibular condyle. The osseous region of the scaffold was composed of polycaprolactone and hydroxyapatite nanoparticles to promote bone formation and was manufactured via fused deposition modeling, while an extrusionbased method was used to print the chondral region, which was composed of hyaluronic acid hydrogel and decellularized cartilage. Patient data were obtained from computed tomography images to create implants with correct anatomical shapes, and pore architectures were designed with solid modeling software. Future work will be performed to observe the efficacy of the implants to promote osteochondral differentiation of human bone marrow stem cells in vitro.
  • Publication
    3D Printing of Microspheres for Tissue Engineering Scaffolds
    (Mary Ann Liebert, 2015-09) Lohfeld, Stefan; Salash, J. R.; McHugh, Peter E.; Detamore, M.S.; |~|1267872|~|1267880|~|
    Microspheres have tremendous potential as a scaffold material for tissue engineering applications due to their capability of encapsulation and controlled release of factors that assist tissue regeneration in the desired fashion. Gradient scaffolds consisting of multiple types of microspheres can release different factors at different sites of the scaffold. Current microsphere scaffold production methods, however, cannot address the need for internal architectures to meet specific requirements in different scaffold regions, e.g., for mechanical properties or porosity. We combined 3D printing and microspheres to create scaffolds with defined internal architectures and tailored placing of materials, intended for bone/cartilage interfaces. Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microspheres were mixed with alginate to create a highly viscous suspension, which was manually expressed through a syringe needle to test feasibility. Subsequently, scaffolds were fabricated using a RepRap printer equipped with a syringe extruder. Thematrix of the printedmaterial dried and hardened quickly through evaporation of water. This allowed to print a porous green body, which was then further stabilized by sintering. The amount of alginate played an important role on the suspension s viscosity and drying time to fabricate a stable construct without sagging in unsupported areas. This is the first demonstration of direct 3D printing of microsphere based scaffolds. This adds a high degree of freedom for the fabrication of such scaffolds with local definitions for mechanical properties, porosity, focal placement of phases, and controlled release of encapsulated factors.