Quality & Patient Safety

Finding the fun in patient safety

Patient Safety Monitor, June 1, 2010

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Patient Safety Monitor.

By nature, I am an outgoing person. In fact, I’ve maxed out the sociability and extrovert scale of any leadership proficiency or personality test I have ever taken. I love humor and fun, and I am an energetic individual. When I reflect on how I’ve ended up in the field of patient safety—a serious and often solemn line of work—I often try to reconcile it with my extroverted personality traits.

Patients and their loved ones entrust us to heal, mend, and restore. However, national rates of adverse events demonstrate that patients are harmed on a daily basis. The HealthGrades Seventh Annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study, released in March 2010, found that 2.29% of Medicare patients experienced at least one of 15 identified adverse events between 2006 and 2008, representing 958,202 patients. Of these patients, one in 10 died from the event; the cost to the health system for these mistakes was $8.9 billion. Much of the work ­conducted for the sake of patient safety is undoubtedly a somber matter. Needless deaths, preventable harm, and numerous near misses characterize the work patient safety professionals do every day.

So why then, as a person who favors fun and excitement, did I choose this as my life’s work?

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Patient Safety Monitor.

Most Popular