What I’m Reading: Good News and Bad News on Patient Safety & Government Processes
Here's the latest in my “What I'm Reading” series, where I clear out some of the inventory of articles I've read, but haven't blogged about.
It's great to see Lean used to help improve government operations – productivity AND quality.
If someone said you could increase the efficiency of your jurisdiction's crime lab by 200 percent, you'd probably initiate an investigation into possible illegal use of controlled substances.
I blogged about this before. But, sadly, it's not any better. We need to improve flow in this approval process to take better care of our vets.
…the number of veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits has skyrocketed, from 11,000 in 2009 to 245,000 in December 2012, a jump of more than 2,000%. The VA states the average wait time after a veteran files a claim is 273 days.
This isn't just an American problem (100,000 a year killed) — it's also a problem in Germany. Read more statistics I've compiled on patient safety problems in the U.S. and around the world.
Translated from French via Google. it appears a hospital needed to rush a man into surgery after a CT scan… except the wrong patient ended up on the O.R. table, somehow.
Is this really so hard to fix?
Problems that encouraged the disease's spread included cluttered rooms, cluttered nursing carts, improper handwashing stations in some of the units, and a lack of training among cleaning crews… The report also found that there was “no process to distinguish if equipment was clean or dirty” and that cleaning of equipment shared among patients was only being done when an outbreak was declared.
Brigham and Women's is published stories about mistakes in an employee newsletter in an attempt to encourage people to speak up and work on preventing future problems.
“Open-faced transparency is really valuable to staff at an institution because it causes them to know themselves better,” said Paul O'Neill (my podcast with him), a member of the Lucian Leape Institute at the National Patient Safety Foundation, a nonprofit research organization based in Boston. But few, if any, other hospitals are doing anything like what the Brigham does, he said: “Unfortunately, I would say it's highly unusual.”
“To the extent that people are unhappy in their work, or feel unappreciated or disrespected, they are less likely to be focusing entirely on patients and on making sure they do everything correctly, following the safe procedures and not cutting corners,” Lucian L. Leape, M.D., patient safety researcher and adjunct professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, told American Medical News.
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