Most of the week as well as today has focused on methods to improve some aspect of communication. The breakdown of communication reaches beyond just the interdisciplinary team, hospital staff to administration, and physician to patient though. It applies to the messages healthcare as an industry communicates to the general public too. As any good PSA will tell you, knowledge is power, and if we continue to strive for a patient-centered/empowered industry, we should seek to educate. Those responsible for the education – hint, hint: us – tend to fall short on delivering a palatable message. Instead, the frontlines of patient education are social networks and blogs. More concerning, the majority of those sources obtain their information from other media outlets.
Now, in theory that doesn’t sound like an alarming statement. The media reports on most issues, health being no exception. It… Continue reading
An incredibly strong, sobering metaphor was made today at Arlington National Cemetery. The notion that 400,000 lives lost over the course of several wars in the pursuit to protect the freedom of citizens to pursue meaningful goals matches the loss of those citizen life every year due to medical error is disheartening and baffling. It hits home because just as each member in this cemetery belongs to a family…leaves behind loved ones… each patient who loses his or her life does too. So it is sobering, but Arlington holds another impactful metaphor that offers hope to the medical discipline. That is a metaphor that can be found in the ritual of the Changing of the Guard.
The Changing of the Guard has a long, rich history which each sentinel imbues and lives through his duty. The process by which a… Continue reading
A flurry of faces, information, challenges and thoughts have accompanied the start of Telluride East 2014. Several issues were discussed, all equally valid and important, but one occurred early and stands above the rest. It set the tone for the rest of the day as its message remains the proverbial yoke weighing on our shoulders – the impact of ignoring the human element in the face of error. We can’t just press the reset button once an error is made, but we can reset our perspectives on the best way to mitigate, manage and cope with the error, or even the potential for error.
So why reset the perspective? Well, it’s due to an unanticipated emotional response that led me to wonder (in text-speak) WTF? Lewis Blackman’s story, although tragic and emotionally charged, led to a slew of… Continue reading