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The “Toyota Approach” to Best Practices

In To Fix Health Care, Hospitals Take Tips From Factory Floor, the Wall Street Journal (4/9/04, p. 1) reports that hospitals are applying techniques pioneered by John Deming and used heavily by Japanese manufacturers to improve the quality of health care. Lawyers and law firms and dep

Creating Best Practices at Chevron

Chevron spends more than $60 million on outside law firms that handle its litigation reports Refining Litigation (Corporate Counsel, Dec. 2003). A new general counsel who started one year ago has instituted a program to develop best practices in litigation.  Charles James, the ne

More Lessons from Medicine

Last Monday (November 10, 2003), the Wall Street Journal, in Heart Studies Cite Treatment Gaps, reported that “[l]ess than one-third of Americans hospitalized for heart failure are discharged with four standard therapies that could help keep them out of the hospital and prolong

More Lessons from Medicine, this Time for Inhouse Counsel

Regular readers of my blog have seen several posts that draw lessons for the legal market from developments in health care. I have previously suggested that lawyers adopt “best practices checklists” (as the ICU at Johns Hopkins has) and that they demonstrate that their tri

Call to Arms for GC: Force Your Outside Lawyers to Avoid the Mistake Doctors Make

In my posting of 7 Aug 2003 (How Would You Rather Fly? How Do You Like Your ICU Stay? Checklists or Not?) I discussed a Wall Street Journal article that reported how the use of checklists reduced the number of patient-days and mortality in intensive care units. Last Friday (9/26/03),

The Importance of Standards

I just returned from a 2 week vacation in Switzerland and Germany. While traveling back, I reflected on three “technology experiences” in Europe: (1) I rented a cell phone that worked in both countries, as well as at Heathrow, where I changed planes; (2) no surprise –

How Would You Rather Fly? How Do You Like Your ICU Stay? Checklists or Not?

Let’s say you’re the General Counsel of a company on a business trip. At the airport, you find, to your surprise, that you have a choice of two flights, equally convenient, at the same price, both going to your destination directly. There’s only one difference. On on

Consistency in Service Delivery

Last week I posted an item, When Clients Come Knocking, that suggested law firms could take standard approaches to how they perform their work and that clients could, and should, “audit” these processes. So yesterday, I was struck by an article in the New York Times called

When Clients Come Knocking

Last week I met with some knowledge managers for large law firms. One reported that the General Counsel of an existing client, in connection with the firm possibly doing additional work, would be paying the firm a visit. The GC was coming for a full day to see how this firm “did