Sharing Patient Safety Messages

Trying to get and keep the attention of busy healthcare professionals with content related to new initiatives can be a challenge to those leading culture change in healthcare. So many healthcare organizations are choosing the path of high reliability, greater patient engagement and shared decision-making, and a 5-star patient experience–all areas which will help us achieve zero preventable harm for patients. With the adoption of a new agenda comes the acquisition of new knowledge for all involved in executing and delivering on the programs.  SolidLine Media has been a partner in developing award-winning healthcare content just south of ten years, and continues to hit the mark most recently with their Minute for Medicine series which includes (52), one-minute episodes containing quick, entertaining hits on several different domains key to providing the safest, highest quality care to patients. Knowing all too well the value a simple, turnkey solution can provide to so many looking to share information without having to start from scratch or develop it themselves is the driving force behind sharing this tool. And in the interest of full disclosure, I am a partner in the series.

Check out the following, or go to Minute for Medicine for more information on how to take part yourself! Share feedback on the series, and/or please share additional tools your teams have found effective in sharing and creating meaningful content within your healthcare organization!  We don’t have time to recreate the wheel — it’s time to pick up the pace for patient safety!


Putting A New Spin on Healthcare Culture

A friend sent the following link to the post, 7 Cultural Concepts We Don’t Have in the US, over the holidays this year and it was a nice break from my regular reading. The author, Starre Varten, highlights seven cultural concepts originating in other locales around the world, such as “Kaizen” from Japan, which many in healthcare have already adopted with resounding results. I especially liked the Danes practice of “hygge”, or the idea of togetherness, coziness as a mental state versus physical one. She describes “hygge” as being akin to family and friends, gathered around the warm crackle of a fireplace enjoying good food and drink together as the first winter snow falls outside. Denmark is repeatedly rated as one of the happiest countries despite the long, cold winters they endure. Given the extent and brutality of our last two US winters, I would be more than willing to adopt hygge as a core part of my own culture!

Varten also reminds readers:

Culture is ours to do with as we choose, and that means that we can add, subtract, or edit celebrations or holidays as we see fit — because you and me and everyone reading this makes up our culture, and it is defined by us, for us, after all. 

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Culture change is admittedly not an easy or quick event, especially within healthcare. It takes time and commitment, and sometimes a game-altering nudge to the status quo! Changing the narrative and creating a new picture of an ideal healthcare environment is one place to begin–and while it may seem foreign at first, the benefits can very often outweigh any risk. There is a growing group of healthcare change agents embracing the uncertainty of change–certain that by taking the leap to innovate healthcare–patient and provider alike will be the beneficiary. This group is behind USA Change Day (@USAChangeDay), which is built off the pioneering work of the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS launched Change Day in 2013, and Helen Bevan (@helenbevan) has been a lead healthcare change agent in the UK, putting a refreshing and inspiring spin on something that began as a grassroots campaign, started by a small team and which has now taken flight. From the USA Change Day website:

…Its mission was simple—to challenge everybody within the organization to pledge just one thing that they would commit to doing in the next year to improve healthcare. This small initiative turned into a huge success, and now we’ve brought the movement to the United States of America.

You can follow their efforts @USAChangeDay, or better yet, join the cause!

What will you commit to doing in the next year to improve healthcare?

Resident Physician & Health Science Student Summer Camp in Telluride, CO: What’s It All About?

Many have asked about the Telluride Patient Safety Educational Roundtable and Resident Physician/Health Science Student Summer Camps mentioned in previous posts. In short summary, interprofessional leaders in patient safety, patient advocacy, and health science education have come together in Telluride, CO for the last eight years to address educational challenges around patient safety. The original Telluride Vision–still true today–was to create an annual retreat where stakeholders in patient safety, patient advocacy and health science education can come together in a relaxed and informal setting to discuss, develop and refine curricula that support a culture of patient safety, transparency and optimal outcomes in health care.

The theme the last few years has focused on The Power of Change Agents: Teaching Caregivers Open, Honest and Professional Communication Skills to Overcome the Multiple Barriers to Patient Safety and Transparency. Through the generous support of AHRQ, COPIC, the Committee of Interns and Residents, and in particular The Doctors Company Foundation (TDCF) and MedStar Health, we have been able to add Patient Safety Summer Camps for health science students and resident physicians. This year, funding from these organizations is allowing us to sponsor 70 students and residents each to attend one of three week-long Summer Camps, where our focus truly is educating the young.

Paul Levy teaches Medical Residents the Art of Negotiation

For more information on the recent Resident Patient Safety Summer Camp activities, I encourage you to visit Paul Levy’s blog Not Running A Hospital. Paul spent last week at our resident physician summer camp, and posted a number of stories about his experience with the residents while in Telluride.

Student and faculty daily reflections and comments can also be found on the Transparent Health blog.

Learning objectives for 2012 Summer Camps will enable the residents and students to:
1. Describe at least three reasons why open, honest and professional communication between caregivers, patients and family members is critical to patient safety, transparency and reducing harm in healthcare.
2. Utilize tools and strategies to lead change specific to improving communication and reducing patient harm.
3. Implement, lead and successfully complete a Safety/QI project at their institution over the next twelve months.
The passion and excitement exhibited by these young caregivers is contagious. Over the course of the week, they engage in both structured and informal discussions, addressing a wide range of issues related to transparency and patient safety. When the week is finished, they reflect and share their thoughts with all attendees.

Every one of the student reflections is powerful, providing insight into the front lines of medical education. I wanted to share one reflection from the residents’ week that captures the essence of the Telluride Summer Camps:
“If I had spent the last four days locked in a library researching the patient safety literature non-stop, I would not have walked away with as much knowledge, enthusiasm, and support as I acquired participating in the Transforming Mindsets: Patient Safety Summer School for Resident Physicians in Telluride, Colorado.  The collective efforts, shared experience, and mutual support of everyone involved made for a special atmosphere (in the already special atmosphere of nine thousand feet) that allowed each of us to rise above our prior potentials.  Within an hour of resuming clinical duties today, I was already championing our collective cause, walking a fourth year medical student through an incident report about a delayed dose of nevirapine in a newborn; her initial grimace at the optional “name of reporter” question eventually morphing into an enthusiastic smile as she entered her name following our discussion about the benefits of reporting and transparency. I couldn’t be more excited right now to motivate these types of small shifts towards a safety mindset while also pursuing large-scale systems shifts that ensure safety as well.  Thank you to the faculty and especially to the other residents!”

For information on next year’s Telluride Patient Safety Roundtable and Summer Camps, email: and have a look at the following short film from last year’s summer camp which captures student and faculty comments about their experience.