Three-prong approach = three methods acting as one?

During the hearing, Herbert Kuhn, Director of the Center for Medicare Management,
CMS, stated that his agency has developed a three-prong approach to combating fraud
and abuse and controlling current waste in Medicare system.
It's usually expressed as a 'three-pronged approach' and means approaches from three directions, or using 3 different methods, simultaneously toward solving the problem.
It's a curious metaphor. The three prongs of e.g. a garden fork must always act in roughly the same direction. Whereas the 'prongs' of 'three-pronged approach' usually don't.

I would not want a garden fork whose prongs had a tendency to operate in different directions.

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It is better than three prong approach!
 MrPedantic's reply was promoted to an answer.
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