LinkedIn Post on Ebola and Everyday Healthcare Failures; A Brave Whistle-Blowing Nurse


I wrote about Ebola earlier this week and have been following the news closely. It's a fascinating story on many levels, including many leadership failures.

I wrote a piece for LinkedIn, written for a general public audience:

A Lack of Planning and Protocol Failures in Healthcare Are Not Limited to Ebola

mark graban ebola problems article linkedin

I also recommend you watch this shocking NBC interview with a nurse, Briana Aguirre, from THR Presbyterian. Actually, nothing she says is really that surprising about the training failures, communication failures, and leadership failures:

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Protocols haven't been shared well. Staff haven't been trained on protocols effectively. Protocols keep changing.

Briana, an emergency department nurse, bravely volunteered to treat her Ebola-stricken colleague, Nina Pham, although none of the nurses had received proper Ebola training (she talks about that in the video). That's makes her a hero.

Briana asked for help, she asked questions… the infection control department didn't have answers for her. WHAT? A VP promised to get her some answers… and didn't call her as he promised. So many failures. Watch the video.  Briana speaking out makes her a hero a second time. She says she fears for her job, but I suspect she has a great career ahead of her in nursing leadership… somewhere.

We have a large number of systemic failures. But these failures and their root causes happen all the time and lead to a lot of patient harm and many deaths.

It's very sad. It's very fixable.

What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn – and follow me or connect with me there.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. A comment from LinkedIn:

    Peter Sampogna 1st
    President at BMC Instrument Service
    As I sat in the ER with my daughter last night I counted 5 infection control issues from nurses and attending physicians. There needs to be greater education to ensure uniformity in protocols


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