Peter Lachman - 24 June 2011:
Am I being too harsh? Well, consider the major problem that we face – that of variation. Litvak and his team have worked in the UK with me and they clearly demonstrated that the major problem in healthcare is variation – all artificial, created in the way we have designed healthcare around the vested interests of providers and not the needs of patients. Artificial variation needs to be eliminated and not kept because we cannot challenge those who refuse to change. Natural variation is what the patient brings and this needs to be managed – and managing operations offers many tools to do this, e.g. queuing theory.
Dr Peter Lachman is a Consultant Paediatrician at Great Ormond Street Hospital and The Royal Free Hospital, and is a Health Foundation Quality Improvement Fellow.