By Mary Blackwell, Nursing Student, UPenn
By the end of day three my mind is saturated and I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be here at the Telluride East Conference. Aside from the twins in utero, as a rising senior in UPenn’s undergraduate nursing program I am certainly the youngest conference attendee. As a student, and a nursing student at that, in the hospital I often feel like the lowest on the food chain. But in this environment of open communication the medical hierarchy collapses and it amazes me to see various healthcare professionals come together for the betterment of patient outcomes. Never before have I had personal connections or meaningful conversations with interdisciplinary healthcare students surrounding issues in healthcare. Because it is so clearly valuable to have these types of conversations, I wonder why academic programs don’t put a larger effort into connecting various healthcare students… Continue reading
Perhaps, as Terry Fairbanks said yesterday, we should look not to our individual pursuits but the healthcare system that is in place. Individually, we are each committed to the reason we put on the white coat – to cure, heal, and do our best to care for each of our patients. And yet collectively as a system we are failing to provide that very goal. How is it possible that such dedicated individuals are systemically failing – it would appear to be impossible, and the numbers certainly show that its more than just a few bad apples. Perhaps our system needs to be overhauled.
I was struck at the insight that Dr. Fairbanks shared. As a human factor engineer he explained that every other system in the world accounts for the natural errors in humanity. There are fail-safes embedded in most systems to catch… Continue reading
I have been participating in the Telluride East conference taking place in Washington, DC since August 1. In the whirlwind two days I have been barraged by information, struggled through leadership, boggled by safety concerns, and simply overwhelmed by my own emotions. To put it bluntly, this is the most interesting two days I have spent all summer, and even though I am exhausted, I am beyond stimulated by the experience of this conference. One minute we are hearing from Paul Levy on negotiations and the next we are working on teamwork and leadership in a teeter totter game with 9 teammates, a 2×8, a cinder block and 2 eggs. Suffice to say this is truly a hands on and experiential learning experience like none other.
In reflecting on the past two days I have stumbled upon many thought trains (thanks Cliff), but one that my psyche… Continue reading
We had a fantastic talk today by Dr. Terry Fairbanks on the role of Human Factors Engineering in healthcare. It was a very insightful presentation that sparked more questions than answers. Why do we insist, time and again, that people conform to technology and existing systems rather than designing with human limitations in mind? Why do we implement rules based on how work is supposed to be done rather than how work is being done, when we are all aware of the gap between the two? Why do we expect health professionals to achieve perfection when we accept errors from most other people?
It’s frustrating to see how far behind healthcare is compared to most other industries. We are slow to change and slow to adopt technology. It’s even more frustrating to see technology that we have adopted that looks like it was designed by a 10-year-old. As Dr. Fairbanks… Continue reading