(DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING) -- The Importance of Specialization in Radiology by Arun Krishnaraj MD MPH Doctors at the Shouldice Hospital in Ontario, Canada, offer only one service: hernia repairs. At first glance this seems like a flawed business model, but it may in fact be ideal. The recurrence rate of inguinal hernias after a repair performed at Shouldice is 0.5 percent. This figure, based on data collected from more than 300,000 operations, distinguishes Shouldice as the world leader in hernia repairs. Their success has been featured in Harvard Business School (HBS) case studies as “a model of business excellence.” According to HBS, Shouldice is operating as a “focused factory,” a strategy of pursuing a narrow product niche, which has allowed the hospital to achieve efficiencies and expertise that is unparalleled. Leaders at HBS have proposed that this strategy will almost always out perform conventional operations with a broad mission. Most hospitals in the United States, however, pursue a strategy that offers every service line imaginable, even ones in which they do not excel. I believe radiologists, especially those in private practice, may encounter a similar dilemma.
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