“I’m a little obnoxious sometimes,” claimed Dan Ford this afternoon discussing his fervent advocacy of root cause analyses in response to sentinel events. Earlier that morning, Mandy too had confessed to being “that annoying nurse” who unabashedly telephones on-call residents when a concern arises. These champions of patient safety proudly own these deprecatory adjectives like “obnoxious” and “annoying” because they know that their actions are challenging the status quo for the betterment of patient care.
It is my hope that all of us, students and professionals alike, emerge from this week in Telluride a bit more enthusiastic about being obnoxious. To be “obnoxious” in this context is to put our patients’ needs first in spite of a bruised ego. We “annoy” despite the fear of openly defying the medical culture’s norms, and we “irritate” others because we have the courage to understand that it will take assertive individuals to lead… Continue reading
Every medical student should read “Why Hospitals Should Fly”. More than once. The book not only provides practical solutions to the real problems we identify at the heart of Patient Safety, but also provides a constant reassurance and motivation of why we are making those changes. Today’s brainstorming session took us all by surprise. For the first time this week, we all connected on a completely different level; we were able to acknowledge the strengths of a particular project, but also raise the hurdles to implementation. In a few hours we had really transformed our minds to see that the changes we want to see in healthcare are possible.
The hike and dinner provided much more informal settings for us to discuss these issues. What I love about a group like this is that a conversation between one student and either Dave or Tim quickly becomes a small group all… Continue reading
The hike today was amazing. We set our today at the bottom of the mountain with reservations of conquering the challenge ahead of us. Some of us were unsure if we would make it to the top. We already had moments of being short of breath just from the altitude. The hike symbolized the challenges we will face as we move forward to implement change and increase patient safety. At times we walked together; similar to when we are all in agreement with a change. At times we also walked up hill alone, similar to when we do not have buy in for a change and we carry the burden to move it forward alone. The journey seamed long at times and it was hard to know how far we had left to go, and felt unsure of how far we had come.… Continue reading
Wednesdays, or the third day in Telluride, has become my favorite day of the weeks spent here at the Patient Safety Educational Roundtable and Student Summer Camps. It is because on Wednesday mornings, the group gathers unofficially at Baked In Telluride for coffee, a burrito or sweet treat before heading to the foot of Bear Creek Trail, our official meeting place, to start the annual (this year three-time) trek up to the waterfall. It has proven to be a great team-building experience over and over again–as we gasp through our excitement, sharing new ideas and unfailing awe of the mountains surrounding us.
What struck me in particular on yesterday’s hike, in addition to the inspiring conversation with my hiking partner Stephanie, was though I have been on this same trail three times in the last year, it is never the same. This year, the mountainside has been left dry and… Continue reading
By Stephanie Christians
Having been a part of the group hike both years I’d been a participant at Telluride, I know how powerful this ritual can be. Once again, I made room in my suitcase for a dusty pair of Garmin hiking boots, in preparation for the hike. Earlier in the week, when people brought up the Wednesday morning agenda, I enthusiastically shared that I planned on going on the hike, even trying to convert those who had other plans. So it seemed strange that this morning – a gorgeous morning for a hike – I found myself manufacturing excuses to bow out.
Thankfully, I’m becoming more skilled at parenting my inner four-year-old. First, I began with gentle pleading: “All your friends will be there! You don’t want to miss out on that, do you?!” Next came bargaining, “If you climb with the group,… Continue reading
The day began with introduction ice-breakers as student took turn introducing each other to the bigger group. From the introductions, it was clear that the Telluride Patient Safety Roundtable is hosting an extraordinary group of students this week – Medical Students, Pharmacy Students, and one student obtaining her Masters of Jurisprudence in Health Law. In addition, the Roundtable is blessed with faculty from Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, Maryland, Florida, and California.
Following introductions, the entire group attentively watched the film The Faces of Medical Error – From Tears to Transparency: The Story of Lewis Blackman. Unlike the two prior Roundtables this year, Helen Haskell, Lewis’ mom, was part of the faculty. She offered her own reflections on the events which occurred related to Lewis’ case, and answered questions from students and faculty. At one point Helen made the poignant observation that Lewis would have been the age of many… Continue reading
Elliott Schottland, Medical Student, says:
The discussion about nursing and doctoring reminded me of conversations I had with fellow classmates at school. We were studying for the NBME Behavioral Sciences exam and joking about the ethical dilemma practice questions we were working on. A common theme that we noticed is that any answer involving soliciting a nurse for help or consulting with a nurse would invariably be wrong. We agreed that answers involving nurses can be crossed off and it would be nice to get one on the test because we could narrow down the answers easier. Almost like how there used to rarely be positive depictions of minorities in the cinema, early medical education is nearly void of positive depictions of nurses. The best way to effect change in medical school is to test students on the material. This should be applied to learning about hospital hierarchy… Continue reading
Michael Coplin, Emory University, MD/MBA 2016 says:
As we wrap up day 3 of the Patient Safety Roundtable, I am amazed by how quickly this week has gone by. It has been a wonderful week of exploring critical questions during sessions guided by patient safety experts, engaging with and learning from students with a common interest, and enjoying the beauty of Telluride. It has also been enlightening to learn from both American and Australian healthcare professionals and to recognize that we share common challenges despite being a world apart. The days have been incredibly thought provoking, and I am certain that I will leave here with more questions than I had coming in. I feel empowered and motivated to return to my home institution, Emory University School of Medicine, with the goal of sharing the lessons I have learned with fellow medical students, IHI Open School… Continue reading
It’s not easy. Sure. But it must be done.
Somehow. Some way.
Three topics emerged as important patient safety concepts during the first two days in Telluride: (1) Communication; (2) Teamwork; and, (3) Root Cause Analysis.
Of course, teamwork relies on effective communication, so the two are intertwined. In clinical medicine, doctors and nurses communicate constantly as part of patient care teams. However, many patient safety issues arise from poor communication and the resulting ineffective teamwork between doctors and nurses. Why do doctors and nurses communicate poorly? In part, this barrier to teamwork begins during medical and nursing training. Nurses and doctors start training in silos during nursing school and medical school. Social psychology research shows that separating any group of people creates cultural barriers spontaneously, needlessly. This dynamic plays out in healthcare: our clinicians train in isolation and then are expected to work together cohesively as clinicians during their… Continue reading