Resonating with me today was the point made that by punishing mistakes, the medical industry struggles to make progress in preventing future errors.
Hospitals have reporting systems that make it possible for residents and other medical professionals to report unsafe conditions or make suggestions for improvements in hospital policies and procedures. This is an integral part of understanding what issues exist and how to address them in such a way that makes the hospital a safer place to be.
One issue with reporting systems is that they are often not anonymous, for the purpose of being able to contact those who were involved in the particular incident so that they can describe their particular experience. Since individuals have to identify themselves, there is fear of retaliation, and there is fear that those who are reported in the event will become defensive. This dissuades people who experience adverse events… Continue reading
“Medicine used to be simple, ineffective and relatively safe. Now it is complex, effective, and potentially dangerous.”
Looking back on yesterday this quote was particularly meaningful to me. It is so true that medicine has made enormous advances over the decades and I am constantly amazed by the complexity of treatments and procedures that are available to patients. However, the more procedures that are performed, the more complex they become, and the more moving parts that are added to each hospital course, the more we experience mistakes and lapses in care.
A few thoughts I have in regard to approaching this issue:
As I travel out to Colorado and leave the bustle of the hospital behind me for the week, I have finally had some time to reflect on my experiences and to gather my thoughts and expectations for the week ahead of me.
I am tired after a long few weeks working in the hospital, this happens to all of us I’m sure – and it’s not only the physical demands required of us but also the emotional demands that are not as readily obvious to the outside observer that we are subjected to each and every day that require our energy.
It is so interesting to be in a field surrounded by people who are here for one unifying reason – to help others – and yet somehow despite wanting that so badly we still fall short in many ways and sometimes struggle to work together in interdisciplinary teams to… Continue reading