“This is the way we’ve always done it”, “I have thirty years of experience”, “It’s never gone wrong before”, “I have never harmed a patient before”, and “Why should I change” are just some of the phrases we will hear every single day of our career. We as Generation Y will be challenged and we will be beaten down by some of our colleagues. This is not something that we should be discouraged by. Rather each of these statements should empower us. They will remind us why we began our career in patient quality and safety.
I learned this week that “Zero is achievable!” To achieve zero central line infections, zero preventable deaths, zero patient harm, etc, we need to be honest and open with our patients. Transparency is key. In addition, communication with our patients and with an interdisciplinary team is also necessary. In regards to communication, we… Continue reading
Bear Creek Trail is a trail that gets people thinking. In addition, it allowed me to truly appreciate the beauty of Telluride. We were surrounded by countless trees, mountains, and best of all a group of individuals dedicated to changing the culture of medicine. 2.33 miles hiked plus 2400 ft climbed, and now we were nearly 11,000 ft above sea level. The farther we climbed, the more beauty we could see. “Beautiful” does not even come close to how amazing the view was.
The same thing can be applied to healthcare in regards to patient safety and quality. In a hospital, we also have several mountains to climb. For example, we have to recognize that patients are not the only people who need medical care. 10% of physicians will have a problem with drug abuse during their career. A large chunk will struggle with an addiction to alcohol,… Continue reading
It is pretty common for people to not be on the same page. Whether it is your significant other, your parents, your friends, etc., you are bound to have miscommunications. 12.5% of the interactions that you have with a colleague of the same education/professional standing are misunderstood. Let me repeat that. So even if you have someone of the same intellectual level, you are likely to misunderstand each other 12.5% of the time. When we begin to consider that not everyone is of the same education level, the same ethnicity, the same religion, the same gender, etc, it is easy to begin to wonder just how often patients and their doctors are on the same page. Do we really understand what the patient is saying when he says he is dizzy? What about when she says she has the worst pain of her life in… Continue reading
What is the safest place in the world for people who are sick? Most would say a doctor’s office or the hospital, but that’s because we have learned to accept failure from our medical professionals. There’s an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 preventable deaths a year in hospitals. By preventable, I mean it’s a medical error or series of medical errors that could have been avoided. Add in another 1,000,000 plus preventable errors and we have an industry that has been left unchecked for far too long. We have created a culture where it is acceptable to make mistakes. Not only is it acceptable, there are financial incentives to make mistakes and lengthen patient stays. This isn’t to say that physicians and medical staff are bad people. We try to do the best for our patients. And although we are treated like superheros, we are no better… Continue reading