Sometimes, in the midst of thinking about another patient or the upcoming test or even what’s for lunch, we forget that for each patient we encounter, this may be the worst day of his or her life. This may be a day that this person and his or her partner, child, parent, or best friend will remember and talk about for years to come. While in this profession, a day in the hospital is just another day at the office, many people are afraid of hospitals (with good reason, as we’ve seen demonstrated throughout the week). For that patient, this is not another ordinary Tuesday.
As we are familiar from countless psychology studies, it is nearly impossible to maintain a heightened awareness of everything at all times. That is simply not how the human mind works. It is in our programming to make repeated tasks a habit…like riding a bike.… Continue reading
Today our group watched “The Faces of Medical Errors…From Tears to Transparency: The Story of Lewis Blackman” as the beginning of the 10th Telluride Patient Safety Student Summer Camp. The film brought up so many emotions for me, including sadness, rage, shock, and embarrassment. Even as a new member of the healthcare community, I felt embarrassed to be associated with such an out-of-control beast that could make not one, not two, but such a series of errors as to end the life of a 15 year old boy, a tragedy that could have been prevented at so many stops along the way.
The most eye-opening line of the film came from something said by Lewis’s mother, Helen, while reflecting on the events of that week. She said, “The hospital was the only place that he couldn’t get the medical attention that he needed.” She went on to talk… Continue reading