Taguchi Method

Description of Concept:

At MIT, I learned a statistical method called the Taguchi Method.  Early on, when the Japanese cars were competing against American brands, we heard that they were winning because they were “designing quality into their products”.  Quality, defined in the engineering sense means less variability.  It means consistent results.

Unfortunately, in medicine, the concept of designing quality into a surgery or treatment rarely exists.  This is because these methods are in the engineering world and medicine and engineering have separate knowledge bases.

There are many studies that could use this technique.  In the study proposed here, I am planning to use this Taguchi Method to “design quality” in the repair of people who have accidentally cut (flexor) tendons in their hand.  I did a project years ago (published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 1998) that was a mechanical version of this concept.  In this proposed study, we will use the Taguchi Method to improve clinical results in patients with real injuries.

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