As many of us have experienced we oftentimes serve as a translator for all things medical when it comes to our families, but sometimes decisions are made and adverse events happen but there is no clear way to explain why or how you got to where you are. I have seen a loved one undergo unnecessary and invasive medical procedures simply due to a language barrier, or prolonged hospitalization due to insurance issues and facility placement. I have also seen patient safety concerns from the perspective of a resident physician, when new autonomy in ordering medications, studies, and procedures could be potentially dangerous if a trainee isn’t aware of the boundary between what they know and what they don’t. In particular, as a pediatrician, the decisions we make when caring for children and the outcomes or adverse events that they face completely change the course of both their life and that of their family, and that is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. My personal experiences and the shared experiences of my patients and colleagues drive me to be more careful and vigilant with my own patients. Patient safety is integral to good patient care because we are being entrusted to care for the physical and mental well-being of someone’s family member, friend, coworker, or child, and we should treat them as our own.
Our institution implements patient safety reports to document when these situations take place, but oftentimes that conversation doesn’t circle back to directly address what happened with those who were deeply involved. I chose to attend the Telluride Experience because I want to gain new perspectives about addressing patient safety concerns from a variety of angles and roles within the healthcare system. I want to understand the framework for these types of discussions and be able to jump start difficult conversations within my own institution about how we can better address patient safety.