Excellence Betrayed by Mediocrity

The Cleveland Clinic is widely recognized as one of the best medical systems in the world. And its delivery of medical services deserves that recognition.

But its costs are unnecessarily high, its critical medical resources wasted, and its doctors and patients needlessly irritated by its short-sighted approach to scheduling.

Scheduling, an organizational weakness since the mid-1970s based on my own experience, appears to be viewed as a cost center rather than the path to effectiveness.

The Clinic has long used schedulers with no knowledge whatsoever of medical professions. Rather than train and educate, the powers that be prefer schedulers who waste the time of doctors and patients and physical resources by scheduling with the wrong professionals.

There is a significant difference between a cardiologist and a electro-physiologist cardiologist. There is a significant difference between a retina specialist and an ophthalmologist. But the schedulers don’t understand those terms and schedule patients accordingly. And on it goes.

Now the Clinic is reducing costs by not printing after-visit summaries when the patient leaves.

Those should have never been printed in the first place for any patients comfortable with MyChart, the online capability and app that includes all that information. HIPPA laws focus on confidentiality, but needlessly printing confidential paperwork for patients who then accidentally leave it in the bathroom or at Starbucks is below mediocre.

Your manufacturing business must make high quality products and deliver them to your customers in the quantity and elapsed time that the market demands. That’s a given. That’s the equivalent of the Clinic delivering excellent care.

But, like the Clinic, your business has supporting processes that are required. Those are often the source of high costs, time-burning organizational friction, and the waste of critical resources.

Mediocrity in those support processes can cost your business its future.

I’ve served leaders of manufacturing companies with my strategic insights and experience for over 30 years. I am not an engineer and have never been able to explain how to make a machine run faster.

But that is never the primary problem preventing excellence in a manufacturing business. If you believe it is your major obstacle, hire an engineer to work on that.

Be warned, your business will not thrive because you took that action. Nor will the Clinic thrive by ordering physicians to see more patients in an hour.

Mediocrity in support processes will betray any excellence products and services offer.

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