Standardize Before You Improve
Regardless of what you may think about the food offered by McDonald’s, it is one of the first companies that people reference when I ask them to name a product or service that has a high level of standardization and consistency. Health care is certainly different from making hamburgers, but there are still lessons we can learn about standardization from a place like McDonald’s. After all, even within a service line or functional area, most internal and external observers of health care processes conclude that there is considerable variation and lack of standardization. This can lead to a less than satisfying experience for patients and families or even harm.
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