It's sometimes said (and I believe this to be true) that “100% inspection isn't 100% effective” (it seems like Dr. W. Edwards Deming might be the origin of that quote).
This is true in healthcare, if we talk about inspecting medications to make sure the wrong med hasn't been sent from the pharmacy or in other situations. This is also true in publishing, that inspection (aka editing) isn't 100% effective either, when we rely on people to catch or respond to errors. Someone once told me that every book published will have a number of typos, defects, and errors.
In particular, there was a typo in the prologue to Professor Jeffrey Liker's latest book, The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership: Achieving and Sustaining Excellence through Leadership Development, on page xxi:
The word “defiend” isn't even a word. My browser's (Safari's) built-in spell check catches it as a mistake, even. So, how does that get through into a book from a major publisher?
On page 1 (yes, the very first page) of the first edition was this spelling error:
“Prestigous” instead of prestigious.
I'm not sure how that got past my Microsoft Word spell check and I'm not sure why the editing process didn't catch that. Multiple human readers in addition to software., yet the spelling defect got through.
The error even continued until I caught it during the final stages of editing the 2nd edition.
It just goes to show we can't rely on inspection, or even multiple inspections, in critical healthcare processes. Nobody dies from a spelling error in a book… but a typo or preventable error in healthcare can have a far worse impact…
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