As our discussions on Day 3 made very clear, health care professionals are not a united team. During a SBAR/I PASS the BATON communication exercise, it was blatantly obvious that by the end of our first year of medical school we have already been assimilated into our siloed profession–as medical students, we have absolutely no idea what nurses do or what their spheres of influence are in patient care.
As a fan of superhero movies, our deep confusion about how doctors and nurses work together to safely take care of patients reminded me of the movie, The Avengers. In the first half of the movie, a rag tag team of super heroes is brought together with the mission to save the world from alien domination. Each hero has his or her own superhuman talents (intelligence, strength, lightning generating hammer, etc.), not to mention movie franchise. However, the… Continue reading
LEAN in a nutshell–Dave LaHote’s masterful diagram
The theme of our second day at Telluride was about reporting, risk management and quality improvement. We learned about the great examples that UIC and the University of Michigan Health System have set in adopting a policy of transparency and timely open and honest communication with patients when it comes to medical errors. The systems not only have resulted in improving direct communication between providers and patients, but have also led to significant cost savings (click here to learn more). The most important aspect of the system is that it allows a health system to engage in continuous quality improvement and learn from its mistakes.
However, as the discussion continued, we realized that while events at these health systems will trigger a process of error analysis and patient communication, many systems are severely lacking in a mechanism for medical students and residents to… Continue reading
While I am spending a week surrounded by some of the most gorgeous mountains, the Hide Park wildfires continue to ravage northern Colorado. Despite some of the best efforts of firefighters, the wildfires have consumed more than 58,7000 acres, have forced thousands to evacuate, and have destroyed more than 180 homes in nine days. With continued hot weather and winds, the goal is to contain the fire and minimize as much damage as possible.
With news about the fire on a nearly continuous feed on local news channels, I am reminded of Dr. Don Berwick’s famous 1999 National Forum Speech, “Escape Fire.” In the speech, he describes the 1949 wildfire that broke out on a Montana hillside and how it changed the way firefighting was managed in the United States through the use of an “escape fire.” Dr. Berwick draws the powerful analogy that our health care system is in… Continue reading
Isn’t it appropriate that after 7hrs of flying and a 1.5hr windy car ride I find myself in Telluride, CO at an elevation of over 10,000ft to spend a week participating in the 8th Annual Telluride Interdisciplinary Patient Safety Roundtable?
My third year of medical school has been nothing short of transformative. While my classmates and I have grown tremendously in translating our theoretical knowledge into clinical skills, what has also grown is an increasing awareness of the plight of our patients. Many of our patients are already in a vulnerable position given their medical conditions. What does the health care system do to help them regain their health? We force them to navigate the rough seas of a fragmented health care system.
Out of frustration for one of my patient’s experiences while on my Family Medicine clerkship, I wrote this welcome message that satirizes the typical patient experience… Continue reading