Atul Gawande’s recent New Yorker online article, Big Med: Restaurant chains have managed to combine quality control, cost control, and. In a new essay entitled “Big Med,” physician-author Atul Gawande muses in The New Yorker if The Cheesecake Factory and other successful. Re: Big Med: Restaurant Chains Have Managed to Combine Quality Control, this essay in The New Yorker, Harvard physician Atul Gawande outlines a model .

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The Cheesecake Factory: a model for health care? – Harvard Health Blog – Harvard Health Publishing

Gawande begins the article in the kitchen of the Cheesecake Factory, where he describes how standardization along with quality controls creates consistently good meals at the chain restaurant. Gawande mentions the delicious food and the organized system — then asks why the world of medicine so far has resisted the productivity revolution that has transformed other industries.


He makes several important observations about how standardization and oversight could improve health care. At the hospital, the Cheesecake manager sees waste and inefficiency — and little in the way of customer service.

Certainly we need to make health care more accountable and organized.

But I am not sure the business world holds the model we need to follow. The truth is that very little is standard about health care. Patients are not, after all, steaks. Health care is messy. Doctors are trained to do gaeande and to take responsibility for the entire patient. They do not work on one station of the assembly line.

If we require doctors to handle all requests for prior authorizations, say, within 24 hours gawannde not get paid surely this process will be done more efficiently. But what else will fall through the cracks?

Gawande: Big Medicine Should Be More Like the Cheesecake Factory – Wes Rishel

Time to talk to a diabetic patient about better diet? I suggest the corporate model may not be the best model for health care. Take a fractured hip.


We must be cautious before instituting systems that work well in the preparation of, say, pasta carbonara and wasabi-crusted tuna. This is not to say that we should not push for standards. The reduction of medical errors requires standards.

Some types of elective surgery, such as hernia surgery, improve with standardization. Let us know your views. Go to navigation Go to content.