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An Obsession with Metrics

I precipitated a recent online discussion about healthcare’s obsession with measurement (quality metrics is the current buzz phrase) when I quoted two aphorisms that highlight some problems with metrics and targets:

Goodhart's Law: "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure,"

Campbell's Law: "The more a metric is used, the more likely it is to "corrupt the process it is intended to monitor."

One comment rubbed me the wrong way because it implied that measurement reduces harm:

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Innovate or devolve

“If you are not innovating, you are deteriorating.” 

― Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha


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The problem with bureaucracy is reluctance to respond to change. Its motto is 'Ready, aim, aim, aim, aim …'  It just can't pull the trigger! 



status quo

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