When we introduce the idea of Lean to healthcare organizations, it’s very common for somebody (often a senior physician) to say something like,”But we don’t want assembly line medicine.”
The implication is that assembly lines and factories are cold, rigid, uncaring places that focus on ruthless efficiency and making the numbers at the expense of safety and quality. Do a Google search for the term and the implications of “assembly line medicine” are very negative.
It’s also a bit of a “red herring” (or is it a “straw man”) for them to bring up assembly lines when we’re in agreement (I hope) that our goals are to improve safety, quality, waiting times, cost, and staff morale.
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