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In Japan, there is one quality tool called Poka Yoke. In poka-yoke, human errors are completely eliminated by assigning this fool proof method. Can we homoeopaths think on the same line and develop a tool like repertory with the system like Poka-Yoke?



Poka-yoke (poh-kah yoh-keh) was coined in Japan during the 1960s by Shigeo Shingo who was one of the industrial engineers at Toyota. Shigeo Shingo is also credited with creating and formalizing Zero Quality Control (poka-yoke techniques to correct possible defects + source inspection to prevent defects equals zero quality control).


The initial term was baka-yoke, which means ‘fool-proofing’. In 1963, a worker at Arakawa Body Company refused to use baka-yoke mechanisms in her work area, because of the term’s dishonorable and offensive connotation. Hence, the term was changed to poka-yoke, which means ‘mistake-proofing’ or more literally avoiding (yokeru) inadvertent errors (poka). Ideally, poka-yokes ensure that proper conditions exist before actually executing a process step, preventing defects from occurring in the first place. Where this is not possible, poka-yokes perform a detective function, eliminating defects in the process as early as possible.

Why it is important?
Poka-yoke helps people and processes work right the first time. Poka-yoke refers to techniques that make it impossible to make mistakes. These techniques can drive defects out of products and processes and substantially improve quality and reliability. It can be thought of as an extension of FMEA. It can also be used to fine tune improvements and process designs from six-sigma Define - Measure - Analyze - Improve - Control (DMAIC) projects. The use of simple poka-yoke ideas and methods in product and process design can eliminate both human and mechanical errors. Poka-yoke does not need to be costly. For instance, Toyota has an average of 12 mistake-proofing devices at each workstation and a goal of implementing each mistake-proofing device for under $150.

When to use it?
Poka-yoke can be used wherever something can go wrong or an error can be made. It is a technique, a tool that can be applied to any type of process be it in manufacturing or the service industry. Errors are many types -
1 Processing error
Process operation missed or not performed per the standard operating procedure.
2 Setup error
Using the wrong tooling or setting machine adjustments incorrectly.
3 Missing part
Not all parts included in the assembly, welding, or other processes.
4 Improper part/item
Wrong part used in the process.
5 Operations error
Carrying out an operation incorrectly; having the incorrect version of the specification.
6 Measurement error
Errors in machine adjustment, test measurement or dimensions of a part coming in from a supplier.

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Suggestions are welcome to avoid mistakes in prescribing.


Poka-yoka comes from a very mechanistic mind-set. Homeopaths and patients have human qualities, which makes them fallible. Homeopaths practice the ART and SCIENCE of homeopathy. We are not machines.

I completely agree with you Debby. Poka _yoke is not for the homeopath as an individual, but it is for the  improvement in process. The homeopathic prescribing process needs Poka-Yoke, not the homeopath.

Today different homeopaths land up with different Rx, although, every one of them sincerely apply their minds to conclude to the right simillimum, but due to defect in the process, the remedy differs. That is the only reason that I am advocating the measures to eliminate defects in the process.

Thanks Dr. Kuram ,Appreciate your understanding about Poka Yoke.

Today Homoeopathy is one of the most established method of curing the patients. Now it is a time to think of further improvements.And it requires our collective initiative.

We have to think of standardizing our process, and that now is the need of the hour.We have to clearly define our process needs in terms of measuring it, analysing it,and consequently improving it.


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