It seems outrageous to me that hospitals are one of the most unsafe places one can be. Both Michael’s and Lewis’s stories reminded me of stories I have heard from my own family members about poor experiences with the healthcare system. I feel fortunate that none of my loved ones have had as devastating an outcome as the stories of these two young men, but I know that I will fear for them if they are ever in the hospital. I feel like the public is being lied to. I feel like we in healthcare all have a duty to make our systems safer and improve the quality of the care that we provide. Patients deserve to be treated with respect. They deserve to know what we are doing with their bodies and what their options are.
This week has been wonderful and eye-opening so far. I love how we are touching on so many themes. While I expected us to have thorough discussions about patient safety, I did not know that this would include topics like informed consent, leadership, and defensive medicine. I feel like a nerd admitting this, but it is so fun for me to discuss these topics with the very talented and enthusiastic attendees of this conference. I have talked to so many people in our group and have learned so much from their own stories and ideas. I am very much looking forward to the rest of the sessions, and to having more discussions with these wonderful people.
Tracy was right when she talked about how stories are one of the most powerful ways to get our points across. I don’t think I will ever forget the stories of Michael Skolnik, Lewis Blackman, or any of the unnamed patients who have been discussed among my peers at this conference.