In prep for our move to San Antonio, my wife and I have been applying “5S” principles to our lives and possessions. We have gone through an intense “sort” process – deciding what to move and what to donate or trash. Even with getting rid of many items that really just aren’t needed (binders full of old college engineering homework, for example), we’ve decided to rent a local storage unit. Since we are buying a condo that’s smaller than our house, we have some furniture that we might want in the future when we go back into a house the next time my wife gets transferred somewhere.
In this process, I was exposed to a new type of lock that has an an interesting error proofing feature…
This type of lock is called a “disc lock” and it’s considered to be way more secure (harder to cut through) than your standard padlock.
The mistake proofing feature actually involves the key. It would be a big mistake to THINK you have locked your storage unit, only to drive off and realize that the lock wasn’t fully engaged, leaving your stuf unsecured.
With this lock, you CANNOT remove the key unless the lock has been fully closed and engaged. Brilliant! You could drive off without locking the unit, but if you attempt to lock it, the only way you can take the key with you is if the unit is fully locked. So, as pictured, I would not be able to remove the key. Even better, there’s a point in turning the key where you might think it is locked… but it’s not. Hence, the error proofing is very helpful.
This is only a $15 lock. I think this proves that error proofing doesn’t have to be expensive, it has to just be thoughtfully designed into a product.
Is there a lesson for healthcare and all of the technology and software that’s NOT error proofed?
About LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as the new Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the Chief Improvement Officer for the technology company KaiNexus.