Monday, October 20, 2014

Ebola at THBH – Is the Absence of Standards an Anomaly, or the Norm? Part 2

By Pascal Dennis

Last week’s Ebola blog triggered much fine discussion – thanks, folks.

When will we know how many people were infected at THBH? Ebola’s incubation period is 21 days, so let’s circle October 21.

The Ebola crisis conveys many lessons, not the least of which is the importance of Lean fundamentals.

Standardized work, visual management, quality in the process and other basics are not just nice ideas.

In a factory, standardized work for, say, die changeover, or work at altitude, is a life and death matter – for the worker.

In a hospital, standardized work is all that stands between the community, and a pandemic.

Here’s an Emergency Department doctor’s take on it.

I’m worried too, and am reminded of the Jeff Goldblum character in the movie Jurassic Park, who, as you may recall, was a scientist specializing in chaos theory.

“These are inherently chaotic systems,” he warned. “You can’t control them.”

In the absence of Lean fundamentals, I think he’s right.



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