Standardization and personalization: lessons from other industriesInsights series, issue 6: An ‘Expanding precision medicine’ paper on how to effectively manage variations in healthcare

2019-09-05
Watch the video with Prof. Michael T. Modic

Healthcare systems are under increasing pressure to generate more value, deliver services more efficiently, and respond to higher patient demands. Goals like better customer service and lower costs; greater value and greater efficiency, appear to be in conflict.

This paper argues that techniques from other industries - for example standardization from manufacturing, personalization from retail - can provide useful lessons to fulfill these seemingly paradoxical goals.

This is a co-authored paper with Prof. Michael T. Modic from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and is part of the Siemens Healthineers Insights series, paying into ‘Expanding precision medicine’.


25-65%* of all healthcare delivery costs are the result of unwarranted variations. The need to reduce unwarranted variations is, therefore, an essential priority to get the full potential of precision medicine. But it is important to distinguish between unwarranted (“bad”) and warranted (“good”) variations – “bad” variations need to be eliminated while “good” variations need to be increased. Greater standardization and personalization can help achieve this.

  1. Manufacturing industry
    reduces unwarranted variations
    (bad variations) by focusing on
    standardization, to improve
    quality, safety and efficiency

    Find out more
  2. Retail industry increases
    warranted variations (good variations) by focusing
    on personalization:
    using segmentation and better understanding customers for
    individualized products and services

    Find out more
  3. Digitalization enabled
    industries
    teach how to manage and use data more
    effectively, to enable the identification and management of both: unwarranted and warranted variations

    Find out more

Professor Michael Modic

Prof. Michael T. Modic joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2018 as Senior Vice President Population Health and Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences. He works with the Population Health team integrating clinical activities and establishing and enabling evidence based clinical standards across diverse network-based ambulatory and inpatient settings. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Michael T. Modic practiced for more than 35 years in Cleveland primarily at the Cleveland Clinic where he also served as Chairman of the Division of Radiology from 1989 through 2006, Chairman of the Neurological Institute from 2006 through 2015, and as Chief Clinical Transformation Officer until December 2017.


For more on the Insights series, please visit siemens-healthineers.com/insights-series