Although my path into medicine is just getting started (recently finished first year) I have noticed a few things related to patient safety that were kind of unexpected. The most striking aspect is the vast variation that is everywhere in our training – curricula, patient exposure, cultures, backgrounds, attitudes etc. Doctors (and every other health professional) are not robots and unlike robots, every single doctor brings to the table a different set of tools, experience, and perspectives that affects patients. This variation is incredible in many ways and makes problem solving happen, but what does it mean for patient safety? Should a patient have to rely on luck when it comes to getting a doctor who may/may not take those extra precautions needed for improved patient safety?
I am super excited about the Telluride Experience because topics like these are going to be front and center. I am really interested in understanding the steps needed to develop a patient safety culture and ways to integrate variation and provider autonomy that still achieve the same patient safety goals. In my opinion, patient safety must be the top priority for any type of patient care because it forms the core of everything related to the provider-patient relationship. ‘Patient safety’ is just another way of saying the patient should always be the number one priority. It is the trust, respect, honesty, and integrity that forms the bedrock of care moving forward. Fundamentally, if we are not doing our best to preserve the baseline health of patients when they come in, how can we be trusted with the complexities of everything else.
This week is going to be amazing and I cannot wait to get started. I am thrilled to get the opportunity to go to TTE and am really looking forward to meeting everyone, discussing these important topics, and learning to be the best patient safety advocate I can be moving forward.