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What Medicine Can Learn From Business - US News

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News: Toyota Production System in healthcare. Supply Chain in healthcare Business applications to healthcare
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  By  Avery ComarowJune 17, 2008 | 2:13 p.m. EDT+ More What Medicine Can Learn FromBusiness  A hospital team gets a transforming lesson from a Toyota guru inJapan. It has been 14 years since Betsy Lehman, then the Boston Globe 's chief medical columnist, died of amassive chemotherapy overdose at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Her case seized headlines, but oft-cited statistics from the Institute of Medicine suggest that from 44,000 to 98,000 hospital patients dieevery year the way she did, because of safety lapses and incompetent care, meaning a toll since thepublication of the IOM report in 1999 of perhaps 400,000 to 900,000 people—or from roughly thepopulation of Oakland, Calif., to that of Detroit. The IOM estimate is highly questionable, representingassorted leaps of faith from selected studies, but if the actual count were 300,000 or 100,000, how muchless horrifying would that be? Attention has been paid. The Best Practice—How the New Quality Movement Is Transforming Medicine, to be published next month, is in part an account of the shock wave the 1999 IOM report sent throughhospital boardrooms and clinics and in part a recitation of remedies that enlightened healthcareorganizations are putting in place. The book, by journalist Charles Kenney, isn't nearly as wonkish as itstitle suggests. It's a great read, as exemplified by a passage describing a visit to Japan a few years agoby top administrators at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, to see if Toyota's vauntedmanagement and production techniques could work at the hospital.During the visit, a team led by Virginia Mason's chief of medicine met with a Toyota guru, a sensei   whohad absorbed the Toyota approach into his very marrow. Examining a layout of the hospital, the sensei  learned that there were waiting rooms scattered across the campus. Who waits there? the sensei   asked. Patients, said the chief of medicine. What are they waiting for? The doctor. The sensei   was told there might be a hundred or so such waiting rooms and that patients wait about 45minutes on average. You have a hundred waiting areas where patients wait an average of 45 minutes for a doctor? Hepaused and let the question hang in the air. Aren't you ashamed?   It was a transforming moment for the chief of medicine. When he returned to Seattle, he began rethinkingthe multitude of ways in which patients and providers interact. Caring for patients is value-added time.Hours spent in waiting r ooms, he concluded, are a production issue. There have been countless such moments in recent year s. Not enough of them, but a start. Requiring all hospital CEOs, board members, and clinical administrators to read this book might help propel the hospital self-help movement a littlefaster toward the goal of killing as few patients as possible. HospitalsDoctorsHealth InsuranceNursing HomesDietsHealth & Wellness Home  + More  ADVERTISEMENT TAGS:  corporate culture, Toyota, productivity, hospitals  ADVERTISEMENT U.S. News Brand Fuse How Oak Island Became a 200-Year Old Legend For years, many have tried to solve the mystery of Oak Island. To date,no one has been successful. Sponsor content provided by: HISTORY  ADVERTISEMENT U.S. News Brand Fuse How Oak Island Became a 200-Year Old Legend For years, many have tried to solve the mystery of Oak Island. To date,no one has been successful. Sponsor content provided by: HISTORY  You Might Also Like News News HomeOpinionScience & TechCartoonsPhotosVideosSpecial ReportsU.S. News Weekly Education CollegesGraduate SchoolsHigh SchoolsOnline ProgramsCommunity CollegesGlobal Universities Health HospitalsDoctor Finder DietsNursing HomesHealth ProductsHealth InsuranceMedicare Money JobsFinancial AdvisorsETFsMutual FundsRetirement Travel VacationsCruisesHotelsHotel Rewards Airline Rewards Cars New CarsUsed Cars Law Law Firms Rankings & Consumer Advice   About U.S. NewsContact UsSite MapPress Room Advertising InfoStoreConnect with us: Copyright 2014 © U.S. News & World Report LP. Terms and Conditions / Privacy Policy.
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