by Bailee Lutz

I woke up this morning to the chilly mountain air and sun streaking in the windows around 5:30 this morning, still saddened by the tragic shooting of police officers in Dallas yesterday and the death of Alton Sterling earlier this week. For those that we know of, there are many, many more victims of acts riddled with hate and misunderstanding and lack of communication that we never even hear about. Sadly, that discordance can occur in the medical field and within our treatment teams as well.

Yesterday was our first day of patient safety “boot camp” and we learned of multiple instances of hospital error, mainly due to lack of communication, clear leadership, and egos within the team that violated the Hippocratic oath of first doing no harm. For far, far to long, we have been letting trivial things get in the way of our number one goal: bringing healing to our patients. Our pride, our reputation, our education, our perspectives, acculturation, background, political views, hierarchy, etc. have crept in and tainted outcomes and divided teams in our hospitals, at the expense of the patient. When I look outside the healthcare field, we see those isolating mindsets daily and the tragic incidents they cause that outrage the vast majority of us. We need to take that same disgust and frustration and apply it to every situation of human error and divisiveness within our hospitals.

It is my sincere hope that by uniting around the common goal of our patient, setting aside all of our differences, and valuing the unique perspective each team member brings to the table that my generation will step up and be the ones to lead our healthcare systems to eliminate medical errors, and ultimately set an example for the rest of humanity as to what true unity in the face of differences and diversity should look like.

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