Corporate medicine is one example of how traditional ways of thinking can compound challenges.
Medical errors are a devastating problem. In fact, 10% of all US deaths in 2016 were due to medical errors (British Medical Journal, May 3,
2016). Hospitals take medical errors very seriously and spend a great deal of money to remedy the problem.
Most hospitals seek out aviation consultants to solve their unabated medical error problem.
At first glance, this approach seems to make sense: there were 19 fatal aviation accidents in 2016, resulting in 325 deaths - down from 560 in 2015. That’s just one death per 10,769,230. With such an astonishing record of safety, aviation consultants and hospitals seem like a perfect match.
Still, the problem persists. Why?
For starters, outside procedural experts apply the fixes they know in their own industry. In this case, aviation consultants attempt to further systematize medical communication by applying processes from their own industry. The problem is that 85 % of airline fatalities are the result of communication issues - just like most medical errors. In other words, airlines accidents rarely happen, but when they do, they are caused by the same root cause as medical errors: communication within a specific organizational cultural.
The second factor is a loop. Aviation consultants are so commonly called on to fix medicine that they become familiar with the general processes and systems of medicine, not the unique culture of each hospital. So, the outside consultant becomes so inside, that they start applying solutions that were specific to an entirely different hospital system and culture.
At GO CO FOR BUSINESS, we use storyboarding and traditional consulting approaches to examine communication and the intersection of company processes and policies.
Perhaps airline consultants are too outside to be in, and too in to be outside?
Enter, GO CO FOR BUSINESS - outside enough to see in, and in enough to - well - be in.
Jeffrey A. Steiger