Monday, May 13, 2013

Simple Lessons from NPSF Congress

National Patient Safety Foundation 15th Congress, and the simple lessons learned

I just returned from the National Patient Safety Foundation 15th Annual Congress.  I know it should be better attended because I am a big fan of NPSF and the programs offered.    I happen to like that it is not as big as some other conferences.  It gives it a more personal atmosphere and people get to know one another.  You can pass each other in the halls and elevators and recognize faces.    The content of speakers are as good as one can make of it.  There are programs available for everyone’s interest.
The common themes, once again that I heard from participants is that they have found tools to go back and make it happen in their own hospital.
If this is what is happening when at the conference, why then am I still seeing such problems as the bedside?  If the one nurse doesn’t want to wash her hands or gives a patient an attitude about it (as a patient safety friend just shared during her hospitalization) then there is still a disconnect between what is actually happening at the bedside and these conferences.
When I checked in to the hotel and walked to my room, a staff person walked past me with no greeting or acknowledgment.  My first reaction was that this was not a Marriott Hotel.  At a Marriott everyone greets the guests.  Although I was greeted by every other staff person at this hotel, it stood out that one did not greet me.  It surely didn’t change my opinion of the hotel, but the experience stayed with me.  It’s often no different in hospitals.    Care may be perfect but we often remember the one incident that made us uncomfortable.  That is why we need 100% participation in safety, service and care when in the hospital.  There is no room for the one straggler.
Although so much more comes out of attending a conference like this, I just wanted to touch on that small piece.  Other things I heard was how to start a patient and family committee at a hospital. Ways to include patients and families in programs and projects.   Calling a Code Lavender when a patient may die or has died to send healing thoughts and prayers to the family and staff who are also in pain over this loss.  The list goes on and on.  Two days well spent.

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