Eliyahu Goldratt in The Goal, originally published in 1984, hypothesized that we need to eagerly search out the “constraints” in the system that are preventing higher performance, throughput. I’m going to use that Theory to examine the results of a tiny change that improved customer perceptions in a major teaching hospital’s Ob/Gyn unit that performs ultrasounds and other radiological services.
The problem is that cost-cutting for this hospital has gotten out of hand. Nurses are ferrying patients on gurneys back to their rooms because they’ve saved money by laying off two “transporters.” Myopia at its
But, this story is about a box of Kleenex — premium facial tissue. This Ob/Gyn unit, often, has to break bad news to its patients: malformed fetuses; stillbirth; stunted growth whose origins are a mystery. So, the mothers, and fathers, find themselves in tears after these scans and subsequent consultations.
The hospital, in another cost-cutting measure, provided facial tissues that were so cheap and flimsy that it literally took a whole box for some patients. That was the report from one M.D. She personally invested in the Kleenex, ahem premium facial tissues; patients felt cared for. Without even knowing it.
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