By November 3, 2012 3 Comments Read More →

Getting to the Root Cause on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy

Last week, my wife was watching ABC’s show “Grey’s Anatomy,” as she always does. Again, as she often does, she’ll pause it for me when there’s a scene related to patient safety, so I can watch.

In this scene, below, “McDreamy” (Patrick Dempsey) and his colleagues are talking to lawyers about a plane crash that killed some other colleagues (this is a medical soap opera, mind you). McDreamy goes on a bit of a McPreachy speech about how hospitals analyze errors to prevent future occurrences.

My wife found it a bit ironic that a doctor was lecturing somebody in aviation about how to improve safety and prevent errors. I agreed.  Learn how aviation is actually teaching healthcare about safety — via “crew resource management” and other culture changes…

Other Grey’s Anatomy moments I’ve blogged about:


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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an eBook titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

3 Comments on "Getting to the Root Cause on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy"

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  1. Andy Wagner says:

    Aviation safety owes a lot to medicine. Pre-flight checklists, crew resource management, and the blame-free culture–investigating to find cause and preventative action instead of suing each other– all came from—- wait a minute… what did McDreamy say?

  2. Andy Wagner says:

    Seriously, though, Mark, this would be the perfect opportunity for Sully Sullenberger to guest star and teach the producers and the public more about how health care quality can be improved.

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