"Even Skilled Physicians Make Mistakes"

WSJ.com – The Doctor’s Office (free feature):

“Most medical errors in the doctor’s office are process errors. These result from communication problems, office administration problems, incorrect medical test reports and decisions based on incomplete information. Many process errors are minor and are caught and corrected before harm is done. Unfortunately, some are major and result in significant injury.”

This article also claims only 20% of physician errors are due to lack of skill or lack of training.

Do we think this is true in our factories? How many times do we see the same errors/defects being created, the ones that are systemic problems that are hard to fix? Thinking back to the late W.E. Deming, he pointed out that it was management’s job to fix the system (by taking input from and working with workers)… not to punish or penalize those who make “common cause” errors within the system.

We’re maybe quick to think of a doctor and say “he (or she) is only human”. Isn’t the same true of everyone working in our factories and within out processes?

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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