WHAT IT MEANS TO DO QUALITY WORK
Do you think that it sounds okay to do quality work 80% of the time? Well, I think of it like this. Aiming for 80% quality is like doing good work on Tuesday through Friday but forgetting about quality every Monday. That is really not very professional, and it is not acceptable, is it?
How about 90% quality? That’s better, right? Unfortunately, that still means “messing up” for 48 minutes every day. Would you want your loved one to be cared for by someone who did poor work for nearly one hour every day? Probably not.
Okay, then how about 99.9%. That has got to be good enough, since no one is perfect. Well, if 99.9% quality is okay, then:
- 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents every day.
- 19,322 pieces of mail will be sent to the wrong address every hour.
- 3 million documents will be lost by the IRS this year.
- In the next twelve months, 3.5 million books will be shipped with the wrong covers.
- 3 planes landing at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport will crash every day.
- 445 words in Webster’s dictionary will be misspelled.
- 50,000 incorrect drug prescriptions will be written by physicians this year.
- 7.5 million cases of Coke and Pepsi will have no carbonation
- 491 heart operations will be performed incorrectly this year.
- Nearly 500,000 new automobile tires will be defective.
- 245,500 pairs of shoes at shoe stores will have two left shoes in the same box.
- Almost a million credit cards will have the wrong cardholder information on their magnetic strips.
- Every minute, over 2500 telephone calls will not go through.
- 35,000 checks will be deducted from the wrong bank accounts every hour.
Pretty shocking, isn’t it? Unfortunately, medical errors are all too common. A recent study done the National Academy of Medicine formerly known as the Institute of Medicine1 estimated that between 44,000 and 98,000 people die in United States hospitals every year because of these medical errors! This is an extremely high number that could be lowered by increasing quality work.
So, what should you do in your job and daily life to help? Aim for 100% quality. Tell yourself that you refuse to do less than excellent work! To do this, you may need to brush up on some old skills and/or learn some new ones. You will probably make mistakes along the way. Do not beat yourself up. Just try to figure out why they happened and what you could have done differently. Learn from your mistakes and keep going…. always aiming for 100% quality.