Hospitals – Now is the Time for Standards and Inspection

NursesI am not a fan of standardized work and inspection in service industry.  Guiding principles work much better by being easy to follow and far less costly.  There are certain conditions when this does not apply.  Namely, when lives are at stake.

In this instance, work standards and inspection become a necessity.

There is one qualification – workers still need to understand “why” they are having to do each step.  This way something that seems ridiculous has purpose.  Further, it offers opportunity to make improvements to the existing protocol.

W. Edwards Deming used the illustration of washing a table and the importance of knowing the purpose that the table serves.  Am I cleaning it to study on?  Eat off of?  Or conducting surgery?  How you clean the table is different for each scenario.

The nurses that treated patient zero and now have been infected with ebola did the best they knew how.  However, they did not have the knowledge to effectively safeguard themselves from it.

The sad part is that the knowledge existed, but did not reach the hospital to help the nurses.  Knowledge moving forward will be important to stave off this deadly virus.

Take a look at your organization as your customers see it – our 4-day workshop has been called “an awakening experience.” You will understand the customer view of your organization and take inventory of the assumptions, beliefs and perspectives that drive performance. Tripp Babbitt is a service design architect and organizational futurist. His company helps service organizations understand future trends, culture and customer. The 95 Method designs organizations to improve the comprehensive customer experience while improving culture and management effectiveness. Read his column at Quality Digest and his articles for PEX and CallCenterIQ. Reach him on Twitter at or LinkedIn at

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