It Takes Two to Tango: Customization and Standardization as Colluding Logics in Healthcare; Comment on “(Re) Making the Procrustean Bed Standardization and Customization as Competing Logics in Healthcare”

Document Type: Commentary

Authors

Australian Institute of Health Service Management, University of Tasmania, Sydney, Australia

Abstract

The healthcare context is characterized with new developments, technologies, ideas and expectations that are continually reshaping the frontline of care delivery. Mannion and Exworthy identify two key factors driving this complexity, ‘standardization’ and ‘customization,’ and their apparent resulting paradox to be negotiated by healthcare professionals, managers and policy makers. However, while they present a compelling argument an alternative viewpoint exists. An analysis is presented that shows instead of being ‘competing’ logics in healthcare, standardization and customization are long standing ‘colluding’ logics. Mannion and Exworthy’s call for further sustained work to understand this complex, contested space is endorsed, noting that it is critical to inform future debates and service decisions.

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