After two full days of Telluride East 2016 I am left with numerous thoughts and emotions that I am still processing. One of the most prevalent is one of support – being around like-minded people who speak my thoughts and share my concerns about where healthcare is and where it needs to be. As a non-clinician (healthcare administration) I sometimes feel like an outsider, yet here I am accepted with open arms and my ideas are highly valued. The ideas of partnership in this safe space give me hope for the possibilities outside these walls. I find myself nodding to nearly every comment that is made as I realize truly how similar we view the world around us and see the room for improvement still to be made.
Yet I am nervous…we are here because we share a passion for quality improvement and patient safety, and I don’t want us to lose this. This passion. This motivation. This need to make a change. I hear others describe what they – what we – are up against. As students progress through medical school and residency many become burned out and students see the residents above them lose that drive that they still have, and it gives them pause. The environment, schedule, culture, bureaucracy, hierarchy…all of it is stifling our young leaders to make lasting transformations.
Let us not lose this momentum by taking comfort in our strength in numbers. I wish all of us the strength to be that first follower of the shirtless dancing man. Let us believe in our own capabilities to make a difference, no matter how small it may seem. Find the like-minded people in your local community and keep on building momentum at all levels. Let us be mindful of the behaviors and attitudes we present to the world and know their power. Remember to listen, really listen, to yourself and recognize how you present information. Let us act on the unsafe condition that we see so that safeguards can be put in place for the future. Finally, let us work together to slowly transform our worlds for the better.