“Speak up” for the safety of all

I have seldom used guest columns in Doc in the D, but I found this story so compelling and indicative of such a positive safety culture that I wanted to share it with you. 

This is a piece written by Dr. Manu Malhotra, one of our Associate Chief Medical Officers at Henry Ford Hospital and a long-standing member of our Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Malhotra provides a “speak up” story that could have had a much different interchange between the physician and a respiratory therapist. He astutely observes the power of honoring someone speaking up, not in the circumstances that prevented an error but honoring the environment that empowers all to speak up, even if not correct.

Great tribute to all and indicative of a culture we wish to build and a behaviors we wish to have second nature. Continue reading

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Taking a Page from Airlines’ Safety Playbook

I am writing this post 37,000 feet over Nebraska, returning home from a conference in California on Sunday. 

Before you comment about the jet-setting life of a hospital CEO, let me point out that I left two days ago, sat in meetings for ten hours each day, and I cannot watch or listen to the Super Bowl in this plane.

But the time made me reflect on something my friend Dr. Bob Wachter said in the meeting.  Bob has written a great deal about health care safety, both in a book as well as on his blog, Wachter’s World.

At this weekend’s meeting, he briefly talked about the comparative safety of the U.S. airlines industry versus health care. 

This has been the topic of many papers, books and conferences. It is not a new idea, but it is a bit more immediate when you are sitting in the exit row of a 757. 

Continue reading

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