Close Server: KOPWWW05 | Not logged in

Welcome to Health Care POV | sign in | join
PT and the Greater Good

Remember the Pinto!

Published October 4, 2011 3:03 PM by Dean Metz

Many years back, before I became a PT, I took a course in accounting. I will always remember the professor telling us, "If all you think about is the bottom line, you will be a lousy accountant." She then handed us the story of the Ford Pinto. Ford designed a car in the late 1960s (I know most of you weren't even born then) which sold very well until a design flaw was revealed that the car would burst into flames if hit from behind. The real scandal was that Ford knew about the flaw before the car went into production, but said the cost of fixing it would be more than a lawsuit or two about it. They were very, very wrong.

So why am I going on about cars that blow up? If you'll recall, a few weeks back I posted about nurses wearing vests that would say "Do Not Disturb, Drug Rounds in Progress." The purpose was to reduce medication errors during drug rounds. I heard back from some nurses who read that. The first response showed that this "easy fix" was anything but.

"We were supposed to wear those too, but they acted like a beacon drawing patients and families to ask us questions and constantly interrupt. If we would have worn them, we'd never get any work done."

The other revealed the true nature of the problem.

"We didn't need those on our ward. We always made sure we had an extra pair of hands around during drug rounds so that patient needs could be met and the drug rounds wouldn't get interrupted."

The real problem was insufficient staffing, not whether or not to wear the vests. In this time of constrained budgets and needing to reduce costs, make sure your business manager doesn't convince you to build a practice like Ford's Pinto. If something isn't safe, don't do it.


My best friend through scool, her parents drove a gremlin.  For some reason, pinto and gremlin are inextricably linked in my memory.  

This post - address the real issue - was the missing piece to tie together my response to your Chinese immigrant story and Toni's entry into the uninsured discussion.  Thanks!  

Janey Goude October 14, 2011 2:02 PM

leave a comment

To prevent comment spam, please type the code you see below into the code field before submitting your comment. If you cannot read the numbers in the image, reload the page to generate a new one.

Enter the security code below:


About this Blog

    Dean Metz
    Occupation: Staff Development Specialist
    Setting: New York, NY – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Great Britain
  • About Blog and Author

Keep Me Updated