Patient Stories Provide A Lasting Learning Experience

Movies that address important issues can ignite strong emotions universal to all of us. Some movies make us angry, some make us laugh–others strike a nerve that motivates us to do better or join a cause. From an educational point of view, emotion generated through film and visual images can create teaching moments unachievable through traditional methodologies. When these moments are reinforced with interactive group discussion, the stories remain in the heart and the knowledge encoded in ways unique to visual and emotionally driven stimuli.

Two additional patient safety educational films that do a wonderful job of educating through our hearts and motivating through the emotional response they evoke are: First, Do No Harm® (FDNH) and The Josie King Story. Both films use true stories to motivate audiences and create lasting change so that similar mistakes do not happen again.

The film First, Do No Harm® (FDNH) helps healthcare teams navigate the complex issues we as care providers face in our efforts to deliver the best outcomes for our patients. The three part film series takes on a multitude of important topics, including:

  1. How systems fail
  2. Teamwork, handoffs and communication
  3. Creating just organizational cultures
  4. The importance of board and executive engagement in supporting frontline healthcare professionals
  5. Managing media coverage of medical errors

Based on incidents drawn from real malpractice claims, the First, Do No Harm® series presents the dramatic story of how a healthcare community responds when a healthy pregnancy turns to tragedy as a result of a series of medical failures. Through one expectant mother’s journey, the film shares the spectrum of safety and ethics issues that can arise in a busy healthcare system. The series consists of three sequential case studies, each approximately 20 minutes in length. The film also includes commentary from leading experts in healthcare and other industries, as well as facilitators’ guides developed by risk management educators that detail scene-by-scene learning objectives and discussion points.

The second outstanding patient safety educational film is The Josie King Story.  In 2001, Sorrel King, Josie’s mother, addressed the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) conference. It was the first time Sorrel had spoken publicly about the medical errors that led to Josie’s death. Captured on film, Sorrel’s sharing of Josie’s story and her powerful educational insights have inspired caregivers and hospital administrators to take up the cause of patient safety in their daily work. The film showcases a mother who asks medical professionals to look, listen, and communicate in order to create a culture of patient safety. According to the Josie King Foundation, over 1,200 healthcare institutions around the world use this educational movie as a training tool to emphasize the importance of communication and teamwork in patient safety.

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