I’m attending the Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety because I believe our health care system has a duty to provide patients with safe, high-quality care. However, fulfilling this obligation requires a radical culture shift, and it is my goal to contribute to this critical cultural change.
My interest in quality improvement and patient safety stems from my experience as a child of someone who experienced a medical mistake. In the early 2000s, my mother’s surgeon made an error that led her to experience extreme, debilitating pain. The surgeon refused to believe my mother’s account of her symptoms post-surgery. In the following months, she consulted with other surgeons in our local area, but she came up against the ‘wall of silence’; these other surgeons refused to discuss her symptoms or the specifics of her operation, and they became offended when she asked if it was possible that something had… Continue reading
While my career in the medical field has not been very long, I have still been directly involved with many patient safety errors. When these have occurred the focus immediately shifted to the individuals that contributed to or made the error. While some outcomes have stimulated professional and productive conversations, others have resulted in blame and shame. The conversation rarely focuses on the role of the larger system. As I was previously taught, every system is perfectly designed to get the result it gets. Instead, the focus should immediately pivot to evaluate the system and how systems can be improved to catch inevitable human errors. I think of the many patients that have been harmed and died which might have been prevented.
The first patient that sticks out in my mind was from my first few months in the medical field as an emergency room technician. Instead of a… Continue reading
I am still having to remind myself that after two years of waiting I am actually getting on a plane this Sunday, bound for Colorado.
When I first applied for the 2020 cohort I was unsure where my professional nursing career was headed. I surely did not think that quality improvement would be part of my life. In the two years we have waited to attend I have completed one QI project and am in the beginning stages of three more!
Why am I attending? – I have just started to understand the power and role I can have in changing the status quo and improving patient safety. There have already been a few ah-ha! moments during the required prereading. I have a glimpse of where the concepts discussed in the books can be applied to the quality projects I am working on. … Continue reading
Hi! My name is Laura Gilroy and I am in fellowship for Maternal Fetal Medicine in Brooklyn, NY. I am so excited to join this year’s AELPS patient safety week. Patient safety and quality has been a strong interest of mine, starting in residency, which I completed in Stamford, CT. As a fellow I have had the chance to be involved in more hospital-wide safety initiatives as the co-chair of our Residents Quality Council. During this period of staffing and funding shortages, in the wake of the pandemic, patient safety and quality could not be more important. I strongly believe that all members of the healthcare team, all the way up to healthcare administrators, should be involved in the monitoring, analysis, and implementation of quality initiatives. I am really interested in learning more about how I can develop my skills and involvement in quality and safety as I transition from… Continue reading
I first heard about the AELPS conference from a mentor in January of 2021. I was halfway through my last year of internal medicine residency with plans to start the next academic year as our residency program’s Chief Resident in Quality and Patient Safety. This conference sounded like the perfect way to meet, collaborate, and learn with other healthcare professionals; while my friends tended to roll their eyes whenever I started monologuing about the dangers of indiscriminate pan-scans or perked up at the mention of fishbone diagrams, these healthcare professionals would presumably feel a similar level of excitement and passion for healthcare quality and patient safety. Unfortunately, the conference was scheduled for June and I felt uncomfortable leaving for a week during the first month of my chief year. Disappointed, I marked the website in order to tell future mentees about the opportunity and thanked my mentor for thinking of… Continue reading
I first chose to apply to attend this conference at the recommendation of my program director. In telling us about her past experience attending the conference, she reported it changed the trajectory career and had a true lasting impact on patient care for her. I value her opinion and thus looked into the program more. I thought about what patient safety meant to me as a PGY-1 in internal medicine. At that point and still now, I am learning the ropes of how to perform the best I can at my job. I am learning all the many important aspects of our health care teams and interdisciplinary staff and how how roles are alike, similar, and intersect. I am developing my skills in the art and science of medical decision making as I watch and model the behavior of senior residents, attending, specialists. I am learning how to function as… Continue reading
When I was in medical school, my best friend once said to me: “No matter how hard you try to avoid it, or how badly you want to help people, you will inevitably make a mistake that causes a patient significant harm during your career as a physician.” Right before this, we were hearing stories first-hand from patients and physicians who had experienced a tragic safety events and how it had impacted their lives. Although this was a very difficult thing to hear in a room full of well-intentioned individuals, who have spent their lives focused on treating others, my friend could not have been more accurate. I now have realized that this was the day I started to have a passion for quality improvement and patient safety.
As residents, we are on the front-lines of patient care and are often the first to notice the effects of a near… Continue reading
Attending the Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety is important to me for academic and personal reasons. Let’s start with the academic. It is hard to find a precise number of how many patients are hurt or killed every year due to medical errors but estimates of deaths range from 22,000 to 250,000 in the United States. Put another way, as a future oncologist I interpret this as medical errors killing anywhere from leukemia to nearly all cancers combined.
The problem with numbers, though, is that focusing on these neat arithmetic devices obscures the human tolls. At a minimum, 22,000 husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, cool aunts, goofy uncles, and favorite grandparents were lost unnecessarily. At least 22,000 families shed tears, attended funerals, and experienced gaps in their lives that did not need to be. Thousands of shocked family members, I’m sure, thought their loved ones were recovering only to… Continue reading
Attending the Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety is important to me because not only am I a RN, but I am also a nurse educator. I feel a great deal of responsibility when it comes to preparing future generations of registered nurses, and I hope to prepare all my student nurses to the best of my ability. To do this, I must be a prepared, engaged, and experienced leader and educator. Attending AELPS will allow me to network with other emerging, dedicated healthcare providers who share my enthusiasm for patient safety. As a RN at the VA, I have grown significantly invested in increasing the safety and quality of care that my Veterans receive. I serve on the Nursing Research Shared Governance council at my home VA and feel that by attending AELPS, I will bring back valuable information that will only continue to improve the safety of… Continue reading
Attending the Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety is important to me because I practice within a field that is rich with opportunities for growth in terms of patient safety (Psychiatry). Because of the unique needs of our patients, we often have different practices from other specialties, especially within the inpatient setting. One example that I can think of in particular is the inconsistent use of patient care handoffs. This is an area that other specialties of medicine have made great progress in over the past decade or so but Psychiatry continues to lag behind. There are inconsistent practices for patient care transitions (both within the literature, but also practically speaking in clinical practice) and this can increase the risk of clinically relevant information being lost- impacting patient care outcomes.
My interests in Patient Safety also relate to the wellbeing of the healthcare workforce. When our caregivers (nurses, allied… Continue reading