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DA 4: Review the following news item to motivate your discussion.

The Henry Ford of Heart Surgery

For our discussion, I am including below links to two articles. The first one is an article in Wall Street Journal titled The Henry Ford of Heart Surgery and the second is an editorial related to it. These offer insights on how an doctor in India is sustainably performing state-of-the-art open heart surgeries, a complex procedure, at high volume assembly line mode but with low costs, something considered hard to accomplish in the product-process matrix framework. Provide your opinion on what your learned from it in context of implications for operations management in healthcare industry.

The Henry Ford of Heart Surgery (clicking this link will download the article as a PDF file)

Editorial High Volume Efficient (clicking this link will download the article as a PDF file)

My friends post(Sample):

Society has been focusing strongly on new technology to improve quality of their lives. Newer machines are built with higher specs and/or added features and priced at a very high price point. Machines used in complex procedures such as assembly of a car or a surgery are extremely expensive, and so raises the costs of the service. Therefore customers must pay an extremely high price point for complex procedures to be done. Japan has been able to successfully create an assembly line system in order to reduce costs of manufacturing. Japanese automobile companies were able to sell their cars at an unbelievably low price point without compromising quality. Production rates were faster, had consistently high quality, and was able to sell their product for cheaper.

Just as many of the Japanese automobile companies had designed their assembly line system, Dr. Devi Shetty started developing a system to develop economies of scale within his hospitals. Hospitals have been known to be extremely expensive and take a lot of time. Devi Shetty’s assembly system has developed many heart surgeons who work faster because each of them only specialize on one or two things. By offering more beds, each surgeon was able to practice their skills more often and developed to the point where they were much faster with the procedure than many other surgeons.

A number of outside doctors and surgeons commented that quality may be at risk when high volume of surgeries are being done. But as results showed, this was not the case for Dr. Shetty’s hospitals. Instead, quality got better because the surgeons were able to get more practice from the high volume of surgeries done. Dr. Shetty offers very low prices for his services because he is trying to sell high volume for lower prices instead of low volume for high prices. By doing so, I think that Dr. Shetty’s model benefits society far more than the hospitals which invest in expensive equipment and charge high prices. Even if a hospital is able to afford the expensive equipment, if the surgeons do not have much experience using the machine, it is just as, or possibly more, risky in quality for the patients.

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