Saturday, July 24, 2010

More on SCIP

I guess the process vs. outcome issue is not limited to medicine. (See original blog.) Here is a word from a friend highly placed in the world of finance.

"Like your blog. in reading the part regarding the focus on process rather than outcomes, I realized I could probably replace the surgical infection example with one from Banking/Finance and the conclusions would be pretty much the same. Administratively, there has been a huge shift in Finance toward tracking things because they are measurable, rather than meaningful. While this allows administrators to show they are being "proactive", it only serves to lower their personal risk rather than meaningfully influence outcomes. The recently passed Financial Overhaul Bill is likely to be a poster child for this."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is also a huge problem with our education system. The metrics (GPA, standardized test scores) only measure what is easy to measure. The rest is given little or no importance.

" A plague has been sweeping through American schools, wiping out the most innovative instruction and beating down some of the best teachers and administrators. Ironically, that plague has been unleashed in the name of improving schools. Invoking such terms as "tougher standards," "accountability," and "raising the bar," people with little understanding of how children learn have imposed a heavy-handed, top-down, test-driven version of school reform that is lowering the quality of education in this country.

It has taken some educators and parents a while to realize that the rhetoric of "standards" is turning schools into giant test-prep centers, effectively closing off intellectual inquiry and undermining enthusiasm for learning (and teaching). It has taken even longer to realize that this is not a fact of life, like the weather -- that is, a reality to be coped with -- but rather a political movement that must be opposed." -Alfie Kohn (

Sounds like it could have been written about medicine with only a few word changes. That's what happens when we expect human processes to look like machine ones. It kills enthusiasm and creativity.

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