Ebola is a nasty disease. But ignorance is worse. If you doubt this statement, take look at film clips from BBC World on the struggle to bring calm, through the use of the evidence, to the many frightened people in West Africa. Why, in America, where we have access to a 24/7 news cycle, has fear taken control of our brains? A recent Wall Street Journal article is a case in point. The article is about the nurse who volunteered to care for people with Ebola in Sierra Leone. It is a disheartening look at what misinformation does to people. It drives politicians to mandate rules so their … [Read more...]
Ebola: Are We Relying on EHR to Tell the Story?
Ebola — this word has its own hashtag, millions of tweets, hundreds if not thousands of articles in the past month, and the power to frighten many people. Fear is playing a large role in how this disease is perceived, which is a poor foundation for managing its spread. Communicating Key Information Electronic health records (EHR) are essential tools in clinical care. When written words in an electronic record become the primary way information is shared among busy clinical staff, I believe we inject increased risk into clinical care. The nation is following the Dallas case almost minute … [Read more...]
Would You Remodel a Building Without a Blueprint?
Not likely. If you have been through a remodeling experience in your organization then you know it takes time, clear communication and above all a plan to enact the vision of the new facilities. Having been through this process, I recall the angst living amidst changes in the environment. In fact, there was more than one meeting where frustrations aired and the group had to be re-centered on the intended vision/outcome. Whew! Adopting EBP without a Blueprint? Evidence based practice needs a blueprint to work. It is one thing to say we need to translate the current evidence guideline on … [Read more...]
Listen! Say Our Patients
Patient engagement is the new mantra. Several posts on 21st Century Patients blog have addressed this phrase and the confusion surrounding the term. Likewise, there are can be no defined outcomes for “engagement”. Although a meaningless phrase it is here to stay – subject to various interpretations and possibly used as a weapon for someone’s benefit. I suggest we step back a moment and really look at our clinical care areas for the presence of “engagement”. What do you see? Where are the eyes and ears? Perhaps you can identify with the scene in the Emergency Department of this story in … [Read more...]
This week lay and professional press will focus on a growing national collaborative of medical societies engaged in an information campaign for consumers. Choosing Wisely® wants patients and care providers to engage in discussion on the evidence for commonly used tests and procedures. Risk, harm and necessity are central to this conversation and a path forward for better understanding about commonly held beliefs. Forks in the Road This is not an easy path. In fact there are three forks in the road that make the journey to greater understanding a significant challenge. They are: Ritual … [Read more...]
Clinicians as Pathfinders….Lessons from the Past
Pathfinders are urgently needed! Flashback to 1914 and glimpse a slice of history that brings perspective to clinical leadership today. Let’s see what we can take away from a quick journey in time. Consider the Landscape One hundred years ago, it was early in the Great War, a time when everyone believed the war would be short-lived, and they would be returning to a world as they knew it. The brutal reality began to unfold daily, until more than five million people died. By the war’s end, 13 million people had been wounded. Despite the incomprehensible agony and chaos of WWI, there were … [Read more...]
No Man is an Island…Analogy for Safety
It is devastating when we make a mistake that causes harm while caring for patients. Clinicians are human and humans make mistakes. This is the very big “elephant in the room” of Patient Safety. Stories about these errors, and infections are often heart wrenching. Some clinicians who were so devastated by a mistake have left their practice. Patients talk about these issues and share their stories more than ever. The Walking Gallery uses art to bridge the gap between patients’ experiences and the industry that cares for them. We can learn from every story. Poetry as a Teacher I am reminded … [Read more...]