More than thirty enthusiastic budding physicians with diverse backgrounds, half a dozen champions of patient safety, thrown into the stunningly beautiful town of Telluride is a recipe for palpable change and I am very grateful to have been given an opportunity to be a part of this change.
We as physicians are routinely expected to perform highly complex tasks which directly impact the lives of several patients each day. Somewhere along this journey, a dangerous sense of infallibility has crept into our ethos. This probably is the single biggest barrier in our endeavor to mitigate the catastrophic number of errors that plague the healthcare system of this country. We are all akin to alcoholics that refuse to admit that there is a problem. I firmly believe that the first step is to permanently expunge this fallacy from our system; with each of us telling ourselves “I will make a mistake” . Only after this basic tenet is internalized can we effectively institute measures to minimize the impact of these mistakes on our patients.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw.