Prevention Is Better Than Cure Meaning


Prevention Is Better Than Cure Meaning

What is the concept of prevention is better than cure?

Promotion of healthy lifestyles and the prevention of ill health is a fundamental principle behind public health and improving the public’s health. The phrase ‘prevention is better than cure’ is often attributed to the Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus in around 1500.

It is now a fundamental principle of modern health care and inherent within health and social care strategies across the UK (See: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales ). Prevention is about tackling the upstream causes of ill health, this in itself is not controversial. The challenge is how it is paid for.

See: King’s Fund – Prevention is better than cure, except when it comes to paying for it, The results are not easily measured, because it is not easy to see where illness has not occurred. The UK has a rich history of focusing on prevention, from Edward Jenner’s smallpox vaccine in 1796 to John Snow using data analytics to determine the cause of the cholera outbreak in 1854.

While there has been huge progress across many public health trends, life expectancy in the UK has stalled and in some parts of the UK, has even decreased. There are worrying trends in health inequalities, with an unprecedented reversal in life expectancy for some groups and stark inequalities between healthy life expectancy between the most and least deprived areas.

Increasing rates of alcohol and drugs-related deaths and hospitalisations, STIs, and obesity and a shift in the pattern of ill health towards multiple health conditions are also indicative of the need for action. Nursing is essentially about providing quality evidence-based care and support to individuals and populations to improve health and well-being throughout life.

In the past, public health has been seen as a niche specialty far removed from the typical image of nursing and only practiced by those with very specific qualifications. Nursing and midwifery staff are now increasingly recognised as instrumental in improving and supporting the public’s health at an individual, community and population level.

All nursing and midwifery staff are well placed to do this and need to embrace the contribution they can make to prevention. The ongoing challenge is having enough staff with the skills and time to make this essential contribution. The RCN have been campaigning for many years for a greater focus on prevention with adequate funding.

  1. This is particularly pertinent in England, following the transfer of funding for public health to local authorities in 2013 and thereafter significant year on year cuts to local authority budgets and to the public health grant.
  2. The RCN welcomed the announcement in the recent 2019 spending review of a real terms increase to the public health grant, which we see as a step in the right direction.

However, indications are that the increase will likely fall short of the amount needed to offset the years of cuts and is not based on an assessment of population need. Improving public health and preventing ill health is about more than health services; and requires action to address the wider determinants of health, for example, education, transport and employment, which need to be addressed alongside health services in a more systematic way and with cross-government action and investment.

  1. The RCN’s commitment is for a properly funded cross-government prevention strategy with a nursing workforce who are able to deliver this.
  2. We are calling for a long term sustainable investment in public health and prevention, which is based on assessment of population need and an understanding of health inequalities.

The RCN has key alliances with a number of organisations to support lobbying on public health. For example we are members of the Alcohol Health Alliance who have recently called for £1 billion spent in tax to alcohol industry to be spent on funding 40,000 nurse vacancies.

Why is prevention better than cure example?

A Short Note on Prevention is Better than Cure – In the simplest words, ‘prevention is better than cure’ is a way to tell us that it is better to avoid contracting an illness than to have to go around and look for a way to get rid of it. These things that we avoid or indulge in allow us to not have to deal with the dire consequences of unwanted circumstances.

Hence, we should consciously avoid performing certain things that we know will be harmful for us in the long run. For example, exercising every day and having a balanced diet keeps you healthy. On the other hand, if we avoid exercise, and indulge in habits like smoking, eating lots of junk food, etc. then we will end up getting sick.

These are consequences that we wouldn’t need to deal with if we just take precautions to avoid the same. Thus, prevention is much better than cure.

Who said this prevention is better than cure?

Prevention is better than cure – Matt Hancock’s speech to IANPHI We’re here to talk prevention. And if there’s one thing that everybody knows it’s: ‘prevention is better than cure’. When I was thinking about prevention I looked into where this comes from. I’m told it was Erasmus, the 16th century Dutch philosopher, who coined the insight.

  • The irony was that Erasmus died suddenly from an attack of dysentery, which we now know is a wholly preventable condition.
  • The other person who can lay claim was Benjamin Franklin, who said: ‘an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure’.
  • And Franklin founded the first fire brigade in Philadelphia and made it one of the safest cities for fires in the world.

So prevention works. As the founding fathers knew.

  1. Prevention saves lives and saves money.
  2. Two of the biggest health successes of the 20th century had prevention at their core: vaccination and cutting smoking.
  3. In the UK, both were achieved by careful and considered government intervention.
  4. We didn’t outlaw cigarettes because blanket bans curtail personal freedoms and often have the opposite effect.
  5. We encouraged better behaviour through informing the public and by stopping smoking in public places where it could affect the health of others.

We didn’t compel people to vaccinate against their will. We helped them see it was in their interests and everybody else’s too. Ultimately, at the heart of our public provision for healthcare there’s a social contract. A social contract at the heart of our NHS.

  • We, the citizens, have a right to the healthcare we need, when we need it, free at the point of use.
  • But, we have a responsibility to pay our taxes to fund it, and to use the health service carefully, with consideration for others, and to comply with medical advice to look after ourselves.
  • Because the NHS is not just a service – it’s a shared stake in society.

Too much of the health debate in England has been about our rights: what we deserve, and what the NHS can deliver. And, of course, those rights are important. But, I think we need to pay more attention to our responsibilities, as well as our rights. Today, I want to talk about those responsibilities, and our task for the National Health Service to help empower people to take more care of their own health.

I want to talk about how we need to focus more on prevention to transform our health and social care system, save money, eliminate waste and make the extra £20.5 billion we’re putting in go as far as it can. Because only with better prevention can our NHS be sustainable in the long term. Over just the last year, emergency admissions at A&E have increased by 6.6%.

This rate of growth of demand is simply unsustainable. But, of course, it’s not just about the finances. I want to talk about how preventing ill health can transform lives, and transform society for the better too. That might sound radical. It is intended to.

  1. The government-wide plan we are publishing today sets out how we need a radical shift in how the NHS sees itself, from a hospital service for the ill, to a nationwide service to keep us healthy.
  2. Where those who work on the front line of the NHS including the GPs, who are its bedrock, feel confident to remind people of their responsibilities too.
  3. So first, let’s talk about those responsibilities.

At the core of my political philosophy is a belief that the state has a duty to protect the most vulnerable in society, and an equally firm belief that we must empower people to fulfil their potential to be the best they possibly can be. From the education they receive in school, to the freedom they have to achieve in work.

  • And nowhere is this more true than with health.
  • Given this duty, our starting point is to ask: what contributes to living longer in good health?
  • The Prime Minister has set this question as part of the Ageing Grand Challenge – to seek 5 years’ longer healthy life expectancy by 2035.
  • The best evidence points to a 4-factor breakdown.

Around a quarter of what leads to longer healthier life is acute care – or what goes on in hospitals. The second factor is genetics. The third factor is environmental – things like air quality that an individual can’t control.

  1. And the final factor is what people do – the choices they make, the lifestyle they choose.
  2. Different people put different proportions on these 4 factors: but suffice to say they’re all important.
  3. Yet currently, we spend the overwhelming majority of the £115 billion NHS budget on acute care.
  4. Last year, we spent just £11 billion on primary care where the bulk of prevention happens.
  5. Yet the combination of prevention and predictive medicine have more than twice the impact on length of healthy life.
  6. That isn’t just the difference between life and death, it’s the difference between spending the last 20 years of your life fit and active, or in a chronic condition.
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So our focus must shift from treating single acute illnesses to promoting the health of the whole individual. And from prevention across the population as a whole to targeted, predictive prevention. So as the government is spending £20.5 billion more of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash over the next 5 years – the single, largest cash injection to the NHS ever – we must see the proportion of funding on primary and community care in the NHS rise.

And that is exactly what will happen in the long-term plan. But it isn’t just about the quantum of money. It’s also about reform. I want to see people taking greater personal responsibility for managing their own health. For looking after themselves better, so staying active and stopping smoking. Now, I want to address head on how we can do this without undermining people’s liberty.

Take alcohol. Like many people, I enjoy the odd glass of wine. I support the budget in which we froze duty on scotch and beer. I don’t believe in punishing the masses to target those who need help. Yet alcohol abuse puts a huge burden on the NHS. High-risk drinkers make up less than 5% of the population, but consume over a third of all alcohol.

  • They’re more likely to end up in A&E.
  • And drunk people are more likely to be responsible for abuse and violent attacks on NHS staff.
  • I’ve seen it for myself.
  • So we need action on alcohol that targets those who most need our support, without punishing those who don’t.
  • Likewise, we know that smoking contributes to 4% of all hospital admissions in England each year.

And smoking costs the NHS around £2.5 billion each year. And this is despite the massive reduction in smoking over the past 30 years. For smoking, the next step towards a zero-smoking society is highly targeted anti-smoking interventions, especially in hospitals.

  • If someone is admitted as a heart patient, and we know that stopping smoking could save their life, then we will do everything we can to help them quit, as they do in Ottawa.
  • This is a Canadian model I like the look of.
  • I want to see bedside interventions in our hospitals so smokers who are patients are offered medication, behavioural support and follow-up checks when they go home.

And we need to fulfil our commitments to the obesity strategy, and set ambitious targets also on salt. Salt intake has fallen by 11% in under a decade, but if salt intake fell by a third it would prevent 8,000 premature deaths and save the NHS over £500 million annually.

  1. So we are working on new solutions to tackle salt and will set out more details by Easter.
  2. Because focusing on the responsibilities of patients shouldn’t be about penalising people but about helping people to make better choices.
  3. How do we do that? How can we empower people to take more care of their own health? By giving people the knowledge, skills and confidence to take responsibility for their own health.

By using new digital technologies, to help people make informed decisions, with more access to primary and community care, and with more social prescribing, all aimed at stopping people from becoming patients in the first place. So the second thing I want to talk about is how we must focus more on prevention to transform our health and social care system to save money, eliminate waste and get the best return on our extra £20.5 billion.

  • This isn’t just about empowering people to take more personal responsibility.
  • It’s about reforming the system and harnessing new opportunities.
  • There are 2 new technologies in particular with the potential to change everything: the combination of artificial intelligence and genomics.
  • They promise the potential to unlock our genetic codes; and allow us to apply those codes to how we live our lives.

To predict which of us are susceptible to which illnesses, to diagnose those already ill, faster, and to develop new tailor-made treatments to bring people back to health. Together, they will transform medicine. We are finally now able to crack that genetic factor of our health.

We can intervene earlier. Save money on unnecessary and invasive tests. Eliminate waste by prescribing the right medication or the right treatment the first time round. And save NHS resources for people who really need it. And this isn’t something that’s far off in the future. It’s already happening. The new NHS Genomic Medicine Service is expanding.

In Cambridge, we’re at the cusp of sequencing the 100,000th genome, and are now aiming to sequence 5 million so we can diagnose rare diseases, more quickly and with fewer painful tests for patients. The world-leading Moorfields Eye Hospital is working with the world-leading AI company Deepmind.

Their AI system has made the correct diagnosis on over 50 different eye diseases with 94% accuracy – at least matching the best human experts. And that figure is only going to improve. These technologies, and other new digital services giving targeted health advice, are starting to transform global medicine.

As it has been with every wave of technology for the last 70 years, the NHS must be at the forefront, embracing these new technologies and shaping them as they evolve and improve. The NHS must go from being the world’s biggest buyer of fax machines to the tech pioneers of the future.

  • From 1796 when Edward Jenner developed the first smallpox vaccine, to 1928 when Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, to 1950 when Richard Doll proved the link between smoking and cancer.
  • The next frontier of prevention is using the data at our disposal to predict who will be ill with what, and to get in there early.
  • The Prime Minister has spoken with great eloquence about the power of artificial intelligence to save lives by spotting cancer earlier – and we must do that.
  • But predictive prevention has a far broader application.

From diagnosing a susceptibility to dementia due to a vitamin deficiency, to motivating activity to tackle obesity, we can have better, more targeted interventions than ever before. Again, giving better results, and helping the NHS eliminate waste and save money.

Our aim is to prevent people becoming patients through personalised advice and intervention. Public Health England are leading the way on predictive prevention. They are bringing together a range of experts so we can scale up this pioneering work to a national level. Now, I’ve talked about acute care, genetics, and choices.

So let’s turn to the final factor in determining a healthy lifespan: the environment. And this is linked to my third and final point: how getting prevention right will transform society for the better. Right now, we tend to think of things in isolation.

Pollution is seen as an environmental problem. Employment is something for the Treasury to worry about. And housing is either a public good or a private investment. But health can’t work in isolation. Our health is affected by each and every one of those. So a true focus on prevention means tackling the environmental factors that affect a person’s health too.

It means a new drive for clean air, building on the successes of recent years in cutting emissions. Secure employment, building on the record number of jobs available now. Higher quality housing. And it also means our GP surgeries, our hospitals, our care homes, our entire health and care system working more closely with local authorities, schools, businesses, charities and all the other parts that make up our communities.

  1. It means employers playing a bigger role in helping their staff stay healthy and to return to health after illness.
  2. And we can learn from the excellent work of our military here.
  3. Soldiers have an 85% return-to-work rate after a serious injury, and they obviously have some very serious injuries.
  4. The equivalent rate for civilians is only 35%.

The reason why the military is better at getting people back to work is because they are more engaged in their workers’ recovery at every stage of the process. Civilian employers must do the same. Employers have a responsibility to help improve the health of their staff and the nation.

  1. To achieve this we need to strengthen the links between employers, their unwell staff, and the NHS.
  2. That way, the challenge – for I never think of people as problems – doesn’t present itself at 3am at A&E.
  3. Good health starts with the right pre-natal care, immunisation, nutritional support, fitness advice, minimising social media and mental health harms, secure employment, financial independence, safe housing, help with bad habits, friends and family to fight loneliness, careful and considered interventions at every stage of life into old age.
  4. From cradle to grave, not just for the NHS, but for the whole of society.

Giving people responsibility for their own health. Empowering them to make the right decisions. The best help when they need help. That is what getting prevention right means. That is the potential of prevention. That is the promise that it offers: a healthier, happier future for us all. : Prevention is better than cure – Matt Hancock’s speech to IANPHI

What is the conclusion of prevention is better than cure?

How it Relates to our Daily Life – Most of the people suffer from various fatal diseases which have almost no cure or impossible to cure. Some of the diseases have very expensive treatment. People suffering from such diseases are cured by using very hard medicines having lots of side effects in present or in near future.

  1. In order to remain away from such diseases, prevention is a great key we can be safe from deadly diseases.
  2. Prevention is very cheap and save lots of money, time and effort of us.
  3. If prevention methods are followed by the people, they remain safe and happy forever.
  4. Poor people cannot afford costly medical treatments.

So, we should take care of us all through proper prevention methods so that we can be away from cure. We have only one life which is very important to all of us. We should live it, not destroy by inviting various problems and difficulties. Life can be more happy and peaceful if we become disciplined and follow principles of this proverb.

  • Conclusion : By properly understanding the meaning and principles of prevention, we can learn how to save ourselves from deadly and fatal diseases.
  • Generally people know the definitions of making their lives healthier and happier.
  • But they forget the key point of control, discipline and patience.
  • Cure becomes the last step to get our body out of danger however sometimes we cannot get the normal health back in case of some serious diseases.
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Our doctors may save the life but cannot return the happiness in life. People, who already had suffered difficulties in life, well understand the value the prevention. But, it is better, if people understand its value before getting into any difficulty.

Does prevention save money?

The Upshot | Preventive Care Saves Money? Sorry, It’s Too Good to Be True The New Health Care Contrary to conventional wisdom, it tends to cost money, but it improves quality of life at a very reasonable price. Image Credit. Sarah Mazzetti The idea that spending more on preventive care will reduce overall health care spending is widely believed and often promoted as a reason to support reform. It’s thought that too many people with chronic illnesses wait until they are truly ill before seeking care, often in emergency rooms, where it costs more.

  • It should follow then that treating diseases earlier, or screening for them before they become more serious, would wind up saving money in the long run.
  • Unfortunately, almost none of this is true.
  • Let’s begin with emergency rooms, which many people believed would get less use after passage of the Affordable Care Act.

The opposite occurred, It’s not just the A.C.A. The Oregon Medicaid Health Insurance experiment, which randomly chose some uninsured people to get Medicaid before the A.C.A. went into effect, also found that insurance led to increased use of emergency medicine.

Massachusetts saw the same effect after it introduced a program to increase the number of insured residents. Emergency room care is not free, after all. People didn’t always choose it because they couldn’t afford to go to a doctor’s office. They often went there because it was more convenient, When we decreased the cost for people to use that care, many used it more.

Wellness programs, based on the idea that we can save money on health care by giving people incentives to be healthy, don’t actually work this way. As my colleague Austin Frakt and I have found from reviewing the research in detail, these programs don’t decrease costs — at least not without being discriminatory.

  • Accountable care organizations rely on the premise that improving outpatient and preventive care, perhaps with improved management and coordination of services for those with chronic conditions, will save money.
  • But a recent study in Health Affairs showed that care coordination and management initiatives in the outpatient setting haven’t been drivers of savings in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

There’s little reason to believe that even more preventive care in general is going to save a fortune. A study published in Health Affairs in 2010 looked at 20 proven preventive services, all of them recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force,

  1. These included immunizations, counseling, and screening for disease.
  2. Researchers modeled what would happen if up to 90 percent of these services were used, which is much higher than we currently see.
  3. They found that this probably would have saved about $3.7 billion in 2006.
  4. That might sound like a lot, until you realize that this was about 0.2 percent of personal health care spending that year.

It’s a pittance — and that was with almost complete compliance with recommendations. One reason for this is that all prevention is not the same. The task force doesn’t model costs in its calculations; it models effectiveness and a preponderance of benefits and harms.

When something works, and its positive effects outweigh its adverse ones, a recommendation is made. This doesn’t mean it saves money. In 2009, as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Synthesis Project, Sarah Goodell, Joshua Cohen and Peter Neumann exhaustively explored the evidence, They examined more than 500 peer-reviewed studies that looked at primary (stopping something from happening in the first place) or secondary (stopping something from getting worse) prevention.

Of all the interventions they looked at, only two were truly cost-saving: childhood immunizations (a no-brainer) and the counseling of adults on the use of low-dose aspirin. An additional 15 preventive services were cost-effective, meaning that they cost less than $50,000 to $100,000 per quality adjusted life-year gained.

  1. But all of these analyses looked within the health care system only.
  2. If we really want to know whether prevention saves money, maybe we should take a wider perspective.
  3. Does spending on prevention save the country money over all? A recent report from the Congressional Budget Office in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests the answer is no.

The budget office modeled how a policy to reduce smoking through higher cigarette taxes might affect federal spending. It found that such a tax would cause many people to quit smoking — the desired result. In the short term, less smoking would lead to decreased spending because of reductions in health care spending for those who had smoked.

  1. In the long run, all of those people living longer would lead to increases in spending in many programs, including health care.
  2. The more people who quit smoking, the higher the deficit from health care — barely offset by the revenue from taxing cigarettes.
  3. But money doesn’t have to be saved to make something worthwhile.

Prevention improves outcomes. It makes people healthier. It improves quality of life. It often does so for a very reasonable price. There are many good arguments for increasing our focus on prevention. Almost all have to do with improving quality, though, not reducing spending,

We would do well to admit that and move forward. Sometimes good things cost money. A correction was made on Jan.29, 2018 : An earlier version of this article misstated the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment of the impact of the decline in smoking on the deficit. The C.B.O. reported that the deficit would decrease slightly, after accounting for cigarette tax revenue.

It did not say the deficit would increase. How we handle corrections

What is the saying about cure prevention?

Ounce of prevention, pound of cure Benjamin Franklin famously advised fire-threatened Philadelphians in 1736 that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Clearly, preventing fires is better than fighting them, but to what extent can we protect ourselves from natural disasters? Hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, hurricanes and volcanic eruptions are not in themselves preventable, but some of their devastating effects could be reduced through forward planning.

It’s important to be able to recover resiliently from disasters and, as part of this, it’s vital to identify the vulnerabilities of communities living in hazard-prone regions,” explained Michael Ramage from the Centre for Risk in the Built Environment (CURBE). By putting resources into resilience and building back better, communities can reduce the risk of disastrous consequences should a similar event reoccur.” Now, thanks to an information system that Cambridge researchers developed originally for tracking how regions recover from disasters, communities could soon have the means to understand how best to protect themselves from future catastrophes.

The story begins in Haiti, where CURBE researcher Daniel Brown has been working over the past year with the British Red Cross and the United Nations following the devastating earthquake in 2010, which killed 316,000, displaced 1.3 million and destroyed almost 100,000 houses.

  • In a country that was deeply impoverished before the earthquake, people continue to live under tarpaulins exposed to safety and security risks, with limited access to water, livelihoods and key services.
  • Brown travelled to the country to field-test a system that he and colleagues at Cambridge Architectural Research (CAR) and ImageCat had developed during the previous four years as a mapping technique for tracking post-disaster recovery.

With funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Brown had identified a suite of 12 ‘performance indicators’ spanning core recovery sectors extracted from high-resolution satellite imagery. He used these to map the recovery process in Ban Nam Khem, Thailand, after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, by looking at aspects such as the movement of populations, the construction of dwellings, the accessibility of roads, and the loss and rebuilding of livelihoods.

  1. In Thailand and Pakistan, the system had already proved to be extremely useful.
  2. Brown’s work provided data and results that assisted decision making and had the potential to ensure the recovery process was both transparent and accountable.
  3. In Haiti, the EPSRC-funded follow-on project aimed to fine-tune the performance indicators within operational situations to suit the workflow of aid agencies.

What Brown found, however, was that in the complex and dynamic situation that follows a disaster, agencies desperately needed a real-time system to help them decide where to put resources. “Many of the hundreds of maps produced within the first week of the Haiti earthquake were soon out of date because of the changeability of the situation,” he explained.

There was also a massive duplication of effort, with agencies often lacking trained staff to ensure the right information about buildings and people was acquired at the right time.” Dr Stephen Platt, Chairman of CAR, who has also been working on the project, described how these findings confirmed the results of a survey the team had previously carried out: “Agencies told us that they lack coordinated mapping information on where displaced populations have gone and where they have begun to return to, as well as damage to livelihoods, and rehabilitation of homes and infrastructure.

It’s very hard for them to decide where to put funds to the best effect for positive and resilient change.” Brown’s first task was a remote analysis of the affected area from his office in Cambridge, using pre-disaster satellite imagery together with a new technique based on high-resolution oblique aerial photographs that capture views of the façade of buildings, and Lidar, which measures building height.

On his arrival in Haiti, he identified which of the performance indicators was relevant for planning and used these to gather field information on the state of buildings, the socioeconomic impact on people, the safest places to rebuild and the community’s views. All data were integrated into a single database to aid the design of a rebuilding programme.

“We were delighted to find that the information system can be used for all phases of the disaster cycle, from preparedness through to damage assessment, then planning and finally recovery monitoring. You could think of each phase comprising a single module in the database.

  1. All these phases are effectively interrelated with each other – data produced during one phase can be used in another phase.
  2. So when we collected damage data, these could be used as a baseline to inform planning, and so on,” explained Brown.
  3. Ramage, Principal Investigator for the follow-on project, added: “You can see how a system that can be used to predict where future vulnerabilities might be in a community is so important.
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And, through Steve’s work in New Zealand, Chile and Italy, we have learnt more about how governments and agencies in developed countries are currently responding to disasters, which has allowed us to learn more about how our system and ideas might be adapted for different contexts.”

Echoing this, Dr Emily So, Director of CURBE, explained how the project fitted into what’s been called the disaster management cycle: “Governments and agencies think in terms of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.What we are trying to do in our research – which builds on 25 years of work in this area in the Department of Architecture under the leadership of Professor Robin Spence – is to make sure that we not only do reactive groundwork after the disaster but also proactive work, to mitigate and prepare ahead of the event and reduce the risk of disaster.”The team has recently been awarded funding for a two-year project involving eight global institutions with the remit of using satellite remote sensing to understand risk and vulnerabilities in communities around the world, under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme.

“The hazard itself is not what creates the disaster,” added So. “It’s the quality of the housing and the social fabric. This is where CURBE can help in terms of assessing exposure and proposing methods of evaluating it. Better information means better ideas, means better protection.” For more information, please contact Louise Walsh () at the University of Cambridge Office of External Affairs and Communications.

What does the saying prevention is better than cure mean in the context of maintaining front office tools equipment and paraphernalia?

Prevention Is Better than Cure Mike Vorster, Contributing Editor When a machine starts a production shift, it should work without interruption, not break down and not bring everything to a grinding halt. Our goal should be to have zero on-shift failures – it is possible, desirable and it makes good business sense.

Successful equipment managers know that their organization must reduce unscheduled field breakdowns and improve reliability. Maintenance programs must be uncompromisingly thorough, repairs and rebuilds need to be performed to strict quality standards and replacement decisions must be timed to ensure that the fleet is as reliable as possible.

Good managers emphasize prevention rather than cure and understand that maintenance actions taken before failure are more cost effective, less disruptive and easier to manage than repair actions taken after the machine has broken down and defined both the time and place for the urgently required repair action.

On the other hand, many believe that replacing components and taking action before failure is a conservative and expensive thing to do. If a component is supposed to run 5,000 hours, why replace it at 4,500 hours; let it run to failure. It may last 6,000 hours; why waste the chance of 1,500 hours more component life? Repairs are easy.

The machine is broken and it needs to be fixed right now. All you can do is spend the required amount as effectively as possible under crisis conditions. It is like opening your parachute after jumping out of the plane –a necessary reaction to a current problem – and you hope for a safe landing.

The worst thing about a repair is the collateral damage caused by the breakdown. A $500 bearing can ruin a $7,000 transmission, $100 hose can cause a $2,000 loss in production. Collateral costs are extremely difficult to measure, they do not appear in cost reports and are often the subject of bitter debate.

Regardless, there is no doubt that they exist and that they have a huge impact on both cost and productivity. We simply can not afford equipment failures if we want to hold our heads high as equipment managers and if we want to complete construction on time and on budget.

Maintenance is defined as those actions that are taken before failure in order to prevent failure or extend life. Effective programs comprise two different but equally important components. The first, – preventive maintenance – requires discipline. Routine systematic actions are defined in maintenance check lists, timing is set by the maintenance cycle and work is performed according to a preset schedule.

Spending can be seen an investment rather than a cost and without effective preventive maintenance you truly can not expect to succeed. The second component – mechanical maintenance –requires courage. Repair before failure actions are performed to replace components before they fail based on reliable information, condition assessment and a belief that prevention is better than disruption and the collateral costs associated with an on shift failure.

  • It is possible to run a fleet based on a good preventive maintenance program and then letting a component run to failure before taking any additional action.
  • Managers who do this neglect the collateral cost of lost production, disrupted operations, increased repair costs and crisis management.
  • In exchange, decisions are simple – the machine must be repaired and the money must be spent.

The only decisions that need to be made are how to schedule the inevitable overtime, reduce the inevitable cost and whether or not to use the downtime as an opportunity to replace any additional components that appear to be “tired”. The need to manage equipment costs without sacrificing reliability forces equipment managers to implement a mechanical maintenance program that focuses on repair before failure and bridges the gap between preventive maintenance and repair.

  • This is more easily said than done.
  • It requires courage and a firm commitment to excellence in the management of the fleet.
  • Let’s see how it works; What must be done is determined by a knowledge of component lives, machine history and the current condition of the machine.
  • There has not been a breakdown to define exactly what needs to be done.

When it must be done is your call. It can be done now or a little later depending on your assessment of the risk between the cost of taking action too early in the life of a component and the collateral cost of a failure in the field. Again, a failure has not occurred to force the decision.

How much should be spent is dependant on your decision on the components to be replaced and the work to be done. Doing it this month would be good but how about doing it next quarter when the budget situation should look a little better? Our ability to implement an effective mechanical maintenance program therefore depends on our ability to predict failure and base decisions on good information rather than conservative guesses.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure | Andrew Kok Wai Yun | TEDxAIMSTUniversity

This means we must use the very best tools and techniques available for inspection and condition assessment. The technicians performing preventive maintenance are the manager’s eyes and ears. They visit the machines regularly and must have the time, training and tools needed to inspect and report not just check, change, adjust and lubricate.

They must provide information and we must use it to thread the needle between conservative decisions that increase component costs and risky decisions that increase the chances of on shift failure and collateral costs. First. We can and should set zero on shift failures as an overall goal for the maintenance and management of our fleet.

It is a simple metric, straightforward and achievable. Skeptics should look to what has been achieved in construction safety in the years since we started to believe that accidents were not inevitable. Second. We need a routine systematic preventive maintenance program based on checklists and schedules to perform routine actions, solve small problems before they escalate into failures and collect the condition assessment data needed to run a cost effective mechanical maintenance program.

Preventive maintenance is not a science, it is a discipline. Without it you simply can not expect to succeed. Third. We need the courage, conviction and confidence to implement a repair before failure mechanical maintenance program that bridges the gap between preventive maintenance and repair. This will require an increase in the amount of effort placed on inspection, oil sampling and other diagnostic techniques that detect impending failure in expensive components and remove the nagging doubts about whether or not the transmission could run an extra 1,000 hours before failure.

: Prevention Is Better than Cure

Where there is a way there is a will?

Learn English Idioms: Where there’s a will, there’s a way – International Bears Picture from Written by Terry Barakat Where there’s a will, there’s a way means if someone really wants to do something, they will find a way to do it, even if there are things that make it hard to do. This may be used in a positive sense, such as talking about a tireless worker who gets a hard job done.

From the Life without Pants blog:

“I’ll Never Go Back to School” (2012): “I have no doubt that if obtaining your Masters is something that you want to do — you WILL do it If there’s a will, there’s a way, No doubt you’ll find the way.”

In an interview, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner (2011) noted this about the two major political parties in the U.S.:

“Where is it that we can stand together? It’s not easy to find sometimes. But I do think that where there’s a will, there’s a way, I think a lot of people around that room from both political parties are very sincere about trying to solve the problem.” If you want to know more about English idioms, email us at, : Learn English Idioms: Where there’s a will, there’s a way – International Bears