The first day of the conference has been very thought provoking. Many people shared insight into how the story of Lewis Blackman could have been different. What if the resident’s acted differently? What if the nurses were more transparent in their concerns? What if Lewis was put on a different floor in the hospital? The question I asked to myself, was “what if Lewis’ mom knew more?”
Lewis’ parents both sounded like they were brilliant people in their respective professions, but they were not medical professionals. They did not know what the hospital culture was, nor should they be expected to.
So what can we do?
EARLY EDUCATION. Why when we board a flight do we receive instructions over the intercom with visual demonstrations from the flight crew about what to do in case of an emergency, but when we are in a much more mistake prone environment, we do not get any such training? I propose that hospitals provide short ~10 minute introduction videos to patients as they settle in their room so that patients and family members are aware of what to do when they feel something in going wrong. The videos will provide families with peace of mind about what to expect while in the hospital and will lay out the standard of care for the patient.
What if Lewis’ Mom knew the questions to ask, and the service to demand?