SDW news brief: Famous pilot urges hospitals to adopt aviation culture of safety

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, July 30, 2010

Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the man who landed his plane on the Hudson River in January 2009 after birds struck the engines, gave a stern lecture to hospital leaders attending the American Hospital Association's Leadership Summit in San Diego last week. He advised them they should adopt the safety culture of the aviation industry. They must stop thinking of accidents "as inevitable and start thinking about them as unimaginable," he said. "We in aviation have learned a lot, and we're anxious to share it with you."

The safety improvements adopted in aviation—called crew resource management—involve standardization and adherence to checklists. And it requires a culture that allows subordinate employees to ask questions when they perceive a lapse in protocol or judgment, without fear of recrimination or firing.

Sullenberger has been praised as a hero after his actions—and those of the entire crew—prevented tragedy and kept safe all 155 passengers on the plane.

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Source: HealthLeaders Media

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