July 26, 2011 Leave a comment
By Alina Hsu
There’s something of a war going on between John Seddon and the Lean community (see comments on this post in Mark Graban’s Leanblog), but I credit Seddon with defining the concept of failure demand:
…demand caused by the failure to do something or to do something right for the customer
Failure demand occurs in many types of hospital contexts: errors, lack of coordination or communication, workaround processes, delays in getting needed tests or other services, readmissions – all create extra work and increase the burden on hospital personnel who are often already overburdened. One difficulty in dealing with failure demand is that the process that caused it is often different than the process that has to deal with the consequences, which requires cross-functional collaboration. (If you introduce this concept in the context of value stream mapping, you’ve already got your cross-functional team in place!) Many hospitals are making great strides in reducing or eliminating these kinds of failure demand.