By Karen Brown, Ph.D.
Assembling automobiles requires a different skillset than healing people, but many U.S. hospital executives are traveling to Japan to learn operational excellence from Toyota. The thought of health care administrators taking notes on an automobile assembly line might sound alarm bells to some. Medicine requires a human touch that does not apply to cars, and no two patients are the same. Yet Toyota has mastered many business behaviors that can be translated to service settings. Three of these involve putting quality first, preventing rework, managing handoffs.
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