Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Missouri and Patient Safety

I just returned from Missouri where I had the opportunity to address the Missouri Center for Patient Safety Conference participants. I have said it before and I will say it again; any organization that invites me to speak about patient safety must really be serious. After all, I care about the patient – and only the patient. Don’t get me wrong. Its not that I don’t care about the others in the medical team; nurses, doctors, lab techs and patient transporters, but my concern is openly about the care the patient and their family receive while in the hospital.

The support system that is available to the medical team, to do their job right, was in this audience. Missouri is doing some great things for patient’s safety. Their patient safety organization is supported by the hospitals and health systems of Missouri, a sure sign they mean business.

It is exciting to speak with this group and hope that there will be some take-a-ways on how to communicate with the patient or family, how to teach about patient safety in the community or the importance of recognizing that everyone who they know and love may someday be a patient within their own health system.

I also had an opportunity to learn from some of the “great” people of patient safety. Many of us at a table shared stories; I heard some of their best practices and programs that are running in some of the hospitals. It’s frustrating that after attending so many conferences and learning so much, there is no place local I can use this information.

Wouldn’t you think someone at a New York hospital might say “come help us implement some of these programs?”

Unfortunately, hospitals are still not opening doors. They still do not, in many cases want the patient to have access. If they did, there would be patients and their families on every committee, in the board room and participating in programs about quality and safety. But, in New York, we still aren’t there yet.

No comments: