Last Friday marked the start of SXSW 2014 in Austin, TX — a meeting that pulls creatives and innovators from healthcare, media, film, tech and more, together to learn, exchange ideas and provide a jolt to the collective creative energy that stimulates change. Before the first session had even begun last Friday morning–and before I’d even had a real cup of coffee–I already had had thought-provoking discussions with a content developer from St. Jude Medical, a User Interface designer from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and even bumped into Guy Kawasaki at the SXSW Bookstore. Those attending the meeting know it’s best to wear running shoes and pack power bars, as trying to absorb and get to as much content as possible requires almost marathon-like training.
Here are some highlights from the health tech sessions I have attended so far with more to follow:
- A hot topic during the session, Doctors Offices on Their Deathbed (shown above), was the idea of flipping the clinic–similar to flipping the classroom in education. According to Dr Gautam Gulati (@drgautamgulati), Chief Medical Officer & Head of Product Innovation at Physicians Interactive, who Skyped into the meeting, our ability to capture increasing amounts of data about patients outside the office will allow clinic time to be used by patients and providers to collaborate on care plans together–care plans that address the needs, values, preferences and goals of the patient.
- In the session, You Got Them to Do What…, wearables were the focus! Your Fitbits, Fuel Bands and more are gaining critical mass. While this has truly been a consumer-driven health movement, entrepreneurial physicians, manufacturers and developers, as well as consumers in-the-know, realize what power the data being collected on a daily basis holds for health prevention, treatment adherence and future prescriptions.
- And in Hacking Medical Training Through Innovation, the need to embrace the innovative/start-up minded student, provider and healthcare administrator was emphasized. According to the panel, medicine is losing these folks in droves as opportunities are slow to expand in the space, and are exploding in tech, biotech and health tech organizations. Many leading healthcare organizations are rising to this call, developing Accelerator programs and new positions, such as the Chief Medical Innovation Officer, to reward and recognize their entrepreneurial spirits.
Hero – a remarkably brave person; somebody who commits an act of remarkable bravery or who has shown an admirable quality such as great courage or strength of character especially under difficult circumstances; somebody admired.
Carole Hemmelgarn is a hero.
In the video that follows, Carole poignantly shares her daughter Alyssa’s story, and why their family’s loss has been the driving force behind the change Carole is fighting for – the delivery of safer care for all patients and families. Every person lost to preventable medical harm is a tremendous loss. Carole, and other courageous heroes like her, including Patty & David Skolnik, Helen Haskell, Victoria & Armando Nahum and Sorrel King give their time, their heart and their stories so we never forget these unfortunate events are not just statistics.
They are my heroes.
Each quarter, in the spirit of a learning culture inherent to high reliability organizations, MedStar Health Quality, Safety & Risk Management leadership, Dave Mayer MD and Larry Smith, host a retreat for quality and safety professionals, inviting outside speakers to share their expertise and discuss topics related to patient safety, risk management and improving healthcare quality. Those topics have included:
- Care for the Caregiver
- Human Factors Engineering
- High Reliability Organizations
- Patient & Family Stories
- Open, Honest Communication & Transparency
- Patient Engagement
- Baldrige Journey
MedStar Health has created a Video Learning Library on their website which includes a full recording of many of these sessions. The intention is to share the knowledge with all healthcare colleagues so that others can also benefit from the experience shared by these safety and quality thought leaders. The Library can be found on the MedStar Health website. Following is an example of the content, as Dr. Bill Neff, CEO & CMO, University of Colorado Health, shares the Baldrige Journey as experienced by Poudre Valley Hospital. Please share this resource with others!
For the last twelve months, our health system has undertaken a system-wide initiative to join the ranks of healthcare organizations like Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Poudre Valley Hospital, and Mainline Health on a journey that seeks high reliability. We have already seen the fruits of this journey, and believe that when the benefits of a High Reliability culture are combined with the expertise provided by our National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, led by Terry Fairbanks MD, MS, along with the guidance provided by our National Patient and Family Advisory Council for Quality and Safety, exciting opportunities to improve quality and safety while reducing cost can be realized.
An important part of this journey includes creating a learning culture built on transparency that many in healthcare are still uncomfortable with. Overcoming these barriers requires consistent and repetitive role-modeling and messaging around core principles that help instill and reward open and honest communication in an organization. One of the ways we continue to reaffirm these important messages is through our “60 Seconds for Safety” short video series, which highlights different high reliability and safety principles. Each week, a video from the series is attached to our “Monday Good Catch of the Week” email, delivered throughout our system. The video highlights one important safety message all our associates can become more familiar with, and hopefully apply as they go about their daily work that week. Similar to starting every meeting with a safety moment, we want all of our associates to start each new week with an educational message reminding us that safety is our number one priority. The videos are available on MedStar’s YouTube Channel, under the Quality & Safety playlist. Please feel free to use any of these videos in your own Quality & Safety work — and please share ways you are getting the quality & safety message out to your front line associates.
About once a week I receive an email from one of our Telluride Scholar Alums. These young care providers are eager to share new quality improvement projects or risk reduction programs they are leading, or provide an update on work started shortly after finishing their Patient Safety Summer Camp week with us. This week was no exception. Dora Zamora-Flores, MSN, RN, CPNP and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, who attended Telluride East in Washington DC last summer, emailed to share how the knowledge gained at our Summer Camp is translating to real healthcare care change at the bedside of a small community hospital in South Texas.
Each year, thanks to the generous support of The Doctors Company Foundation, COPIC, CIR and MedStar Health, the number of applicants for a seat at one of four, week-long sessions continues to grow, as does the level of talent. We are always thrilled to see how these creative young healthcare providers take the learning from the heart of the Rocky Mountains (and now Washington DC) straight to the heart of patients. Here is Dora’s story…
I attended Telluride East this summer and want to give you an update on how I have used the knowledge gained. A small community hospital in deep South Texas is opening a brand new Women’s Services department next week. They currently do not deliver babies. I asked the CNO if she would allow me 1 hour to speak to all of the nurses- nursery, L&D and post-partum. I shared Diane Ford’s story, the NICU heparin incidents, findings from “To Err is Human”, a brief intro to Human Factor’s Engineering and the importance of teams, communication and reporting near misses. I ended with the Lewis Blackman video which you were kind enough to send me.
The response and the questions were tremendous. There were some tears in the room. It went much better than I expected. I encouraged them to take advantage of this unique opportunity to set the tone from day 1 of this unit for a culture of safety. A CRNA in the room, Tim Sparks was very interested in my experience in DC and he contributed to my presentation by sharing some of the mishaps he has witnessed during his years as a CRNA. I have given him your contact info. He oversees over 50 CRNAs and is interested in putting together a Safety Training for them. Thank you again for allowing me to be part of Telluride East. I continue to have many rewarding experiences due to the knowledge I gained there. -Dora
With the winter many of us have experienced this year, it is emails like Dora’s, along with the promise of June sunshine over the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in Telluride, that have me looking forward with great anticipation to meeting our 2014 Telluride Scholars when we gather this summer. For information on how to apply to attend one of the 2014 Telluride Patient Safety Summer Camps, you can go to our website at www.telluridesummercamp.com
More from the Future of Storytelling series…
This time it is Jennifer Aaker, social psychologist, General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and author of The Dragonfly Effect, who reinforces what ETY readers have already learned (Storytelling, the Dramatic Arc and Empathy, The Future of Storytelling: Big Screen and Small). Stories, especially stories that:
- Include characters ‘everyman/woman’ can relate to…
- Use language that invites the reader in…
- Are memorable, impactful and personal…
…have the power to move others — not only emotionally and in the moment, but to action as well.
According to Aaker, those who tell the best stories will become the best leaders–leaders who can influence the adoption of new ideas our changing world demands. Moving new healthcare initiatives forward can be a daunting task in an industry slow to adopt change. Combining the elements of good story used by best-selling authors such as Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried), Ann Patchett (Bel Canto), and Carol Cassella (Oxygen), with related data, can frame those initiatives within a narrative all can not only identify with, but also lights a fire within that leads to the desired action. Hear what Aaker has to say about using the power of story to persuade in the short video that follows.
Healthcare today is a wide open canvas, and technology continues to open doors for entrepreneurs, the tech-savvy young and old from any industry, and those whose immediate need for a solution is far greater than any competing agenda. Steve Gleason, ex-New Orleans Saints football player hit with the same life-altering illness named after the great Lou Gehrig (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS), is getting on with the business of living thanks to a spirit that refuses to quit, a social support network without limits (they carried him to the top of Machu Picchu) and companies like Microsoft. A reminder that the sky really is the limit when the heart and mind remain open.