Tuesday, July 08, 2014

This doesn't apply to us, we are different

A brilliant reminder from Terry Fairbanks (National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare at MedStar Health), offered as a comment on one of my previous blog posts:

When I was preparing a piece on how the healthcare industry could learn from aviation with respect to safety, I called an internationally regarded expert in human factors engineering and aviation safety. I asked him what similarities and differences he saw between aviation and healthcare safety. He said: "Overwhelmingly the biggest similarity is that when the aviation safety revolution started out in the 1970s and we tried to bring safety engineering methods from other industries into aviation, aviation said, 'This doesn't apply to us, we are different.'"


Ralf Lippold said...

Paul, you are touching a well underutilized point: mental models.

It reminds me what I have heard from former potential clients who were about to improve their processes, but did not want to touch "lean" as they would be not in the automotive industry".

Stuck in closed thinking, not seeing the parallel patterns of behavior/processes within the organization compared to other industries is from my experience the biggest obstacle towards better processes.

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Excellent points. Once you start showing that an MD degree is a graduate degree, and that's all that it is, no one is entitled to anything just because they got a grad degree, you'll start getting a more level playing field.

Anonymous said...

A little levity: A cartoon about a hospital stay....


Paul Levy said...