Commodity Practice Philosophy

From Pigs to Model T’s to Medical Care

September 28, 2011

It’s said that Henry Ford adopted the modern production line, with each worker focusing on a part instead of assembling a whole, from his observations of the way that Chicago slaughterhouses “dressed” pigs.

On October 1, 1908, the first Model T rolled off the production line. Available, famously, in any color you wanted as long as that color was black.

Ford focused on keeping things simple, building one model that (had to) suit all, using interchangeable parts that relatively unskilled workers could assemble.

How different is this from the model of healthcare envisioned by many today? “Best practices” replacing innovation. One model replacing high touch care.  Delivery via relatively unskilled workers (paraprofessionals).

In the end, the public wanted more – and the Model T rode off into history.

History is sure to repeat itself.

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