Thank you to all Medical Staff members who attended one of our three recent events – the March Doctors’ Day Celebration in Bellarmine Hall at Fairfield University, the Thank You Breakfast at the hospital the next morning and the Physician Leadership Summit at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn in April. All the events were well attended and I believe went very well.
At the Physician Summit, Peter Cimino, MD, spoke about what his practice experienced going live with Epic and the lessons learned. Peter was entertaining, knowledgeable and thought-provoking all at the same time. Special thanks, Peter, for the thought and time you put into preparing for our Summit. A reminder: EPIC is getting closer. You can register online for Epic classes, which start in early July. You can call 203-384- EPIC for assistance in registering. We go live September 21.
Our second speaker was Kerry Johnson, a nuclear engineer and leader of Healthcare Performance Improvement, a consulting firm that helps hospitals become safer and more reliable. He talked about the effort required to prevent errors and mitigate the damage incurred when errors do occur.
Johnson noted that a critical component of a safe and reliable system is a culture that encourages all staff to speak up when they believe an error is being made or might be made. To that end, it is important that we do not overuse or abuse the authority of our position. When staff members raise a concern, it is important to hear them out and not belittle them.
As Johnson pointed out, more than half the time a surgeon operates on the wrong site, someone in the room thought it was the wrong site but was afraid to speak up. The nurses, patient care technicians and other staff members spend a great deal of time with our patients and their families – more time than we can possibly spend. Consequently, we put ourselves and our patients at risk when we verbally abuse or belittle staff members and make them less likely to speak up because they fear being abused. None of us can afford the risk of behaving this way and hospital staff members certainly don’t deserve to be treated this way.
I’m happy to report we have data that shows our Culture of Safety is doing very well and that our Medical Staff is overwhelmingly positive and respectful. However, if you are one of the few individuals who behave inappropriately, you need to stop. If any of you see someone behaving this way, please tell them to stop. The journey to being a safe and reliable organization is a long one and the path is not smooth, but some of the steps are clear and we are taking them.
Michael Ivy, MD
Chief Medical Officer