Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Choosing Your Medical Team

Patient Safety is Not About Bad Medicine

When friends or family choose a clinician or hospital, I find that they often try to convince me how wonderful their choice is.  They will tell me that the doctor is great or the hospital is the best. That usually means that for whatever the reason, the patient and the patient’s family are happy with their choice.  Whether it’s bedside manner, a gentle personality or a clinician who has a large practice of patients who work in healthcare, the choice is personal and meets the needs of the patient.  Choosing a medical team is a personal choice and I don’t need to be convinced as to why someone chooses their team.  I too choose my team for what may be important to me, not others.

Patient safety is not always about good or bad medical care.  Even in a hospital where everyone is treated like a special guest and patient centered care is apparent “things” can go wrong.  A nurse who is rushed or distracted may forget to wash her hands, pick up the wrong medication or forget to check the patient’s identification.  Mix ups, miscommunication or human error can happen in the best facilities and by the most experienced medical professionals.  The reasons how errors or unplanned outcomes may happen is not about incompetence.  Maybe in the “better” hospitals errors may happen less.  Maybe when choosing a physician who comes well recommended the outcomes may be better but a medical team is made up by many more people than one clinician.  It is made up of teams, working within systems where many things can go wrong.  My role is to educate the public and break down those silos (a term used to describe a business that lacks team work) to keep the patient and family aware how something might go wrong and be part of the medical team – that prevents anything from going wrong. 

Our team will be doing that again this May 19 and 21 from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM . Register early – classes fill fast  Family Centered Patient Advocacy Training