Productivity vs. Patient Safety at Walgreens and CVS

Productivity vs. Patient Safety at Walgreens and CVS

Tired employees at Walgreens and CVS are making mistakes that may threaten patient safety.

For some time, pharmacists have argued that understaffed and high-pace work environments are contributing to medication errors and compromising public safety. Management has challenged these allegations but is planning to review the standards used to evaluate pharmacists’ performance.


Video Spotlight: Medication Errors at 24-Hour Pharmacies


This post is based on The New York Times article, At Walgreens, Complaints of Medication Errors Go Missing, by E. Gabler, February 21, 2020, and the YouTube video, Prescription Drug Dispensing Errors Kill 100,000 People Per Year in USby CBSDFW, May 14, 2018. Image source: fstop123/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How do Walgreens and CVS try to ensure high levels of productivity from their pharmacists?

Guidance: The productivity index is measured by the ratio of output to input. In this article, the efforts mentioned to boost productivity involve a reduction of inputs through increased quantitative workload and multi-tasking. The high pace of work, lower staffing levels (e.g. elimination of overlapping pharmacists, reduced work hours for technicians), and longer hours contribute to quantitative overload. Answering the phone, filling drive-through and in-store orders, and giving flu shots Continue reading

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The Origin of Ride-Share

The Origin of Ride-Share

Cruise, an autonomous vehicle start up owned by General Motors and Honda, developed a self-driving, electric car for shared ownership called Origin to provide driverless ride-sharing services.  Origin is a shuttle-like, all-electric vehicle that is environmentally friendly, affordable, modular, long-lasting, and safe.


Video Spotlight: Introducing the Cruise Origin (Cruise, Jan 21, 2020)


This post is based on the CNBC article, Debut of GM’s Cruise Origin shows the future of ride-sharing, autonomous vehicles is a box, by Michael Wayland and Lora Kolodny, January 23, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Video Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock/metamorworks

Discussion Questions:

1. Is the debut of Origin considered an operations strategy of Cruise?  Explain.

Guidance: Yes.  Origin is a strategic operations decision in the area of product design to enable Cruise’s future vision of the auto industry

2. What are the product design considerations of Origin?

Guidance: The product design considerations of Origin include environmental friendliness, affordability, modularity, safety, reliability, and shared mobility.

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Flippy the Fry Cook

Flippy the Fry Cook

March 1, 2020

The new and improved Flippy the robotic fry cook will probably see greater implementation.  Its price has been cut in half, bringing it down to $30,000, while improved capabilities give it more versatility.  Specifically, Flippy’s programming has been upgraded as part of this improved flexibility.  Flippy utilizes AI to manage its tasks.  Flippy has already been used at Caliburger’s Pasadena restaurant, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and at Chase Field in Arizona.

Creator’s hamburger robot takes a different approach.  Creator’s goal is to make a gourmet burger that would be affordable, making it available to a large audience.  Using quality ingredients, the company is aiming for the $6 price point.

Creator has built into this robot processes and techniques that differentiate its burger from the vast majority of fast casual restaurants.  For example, it uses the Blumenthal method of making burgers.  This method uses a vertical grind method for the meat that creates an extremely tender and juicy hamburger.  Most chefs find this technique very difficult, and is not used in fast casual restaurants.  Creator’s robot has perfected this method.  Additionally, the robot slices many of the ingredients, Continue reading

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