How the Flint Water Crisis Is a Cautionary Tale for Health Care

How the Flint Water Crisis Is a Cautionary Tale for Health Care

Posted by  | Designing Safer Systems, Organizational and Cultural Change, Preventing Patient Harm

There has been no shortage of blame for the poisoning of Flint, Michigan's water supply. In March, a governor-appointed task force issued a report that rebuked local, state and federal authorities for their actions — and inactions — that created the public health crisis. Then, in late April, state prosecutors announced the first charges in the(...)

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What Teenage Patients — and Their Parents — Want from Their Care Team

What Teenage Patients — and Their Parents — Want from Their Care Team

Posted by  | Patient-Centered Care

For anyone with a serious medical condition, frequent hospitalizations and clinic visits can have a profoundly disruptive impact. Yet adolescent and teenage patients have a uniquely challenging experience. A boy who would otherwise be playing on a soccer team or performing in a play may be undergoing chemotherapy. A girl who had expected to be(...)

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It’s Not All About the Checklist: The Power of Believing and Belonging

It’s Not All About the Checklist: The Power of Believing and Belonging

Posted by  | Organizational and Cultural Change, Preventing Patient Harm

Trine Engebretsen was clinging to life. It was the early 1980s, and the girl had a genetic liver disorder that would kill her if she did not get a transplant. Yet, as she waited for a matching liver, some providers called her parents and urged them not to allow the surgery. They cautioned them that(...)

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5 Lessons for Creating Health Care Performance Dashboards

5 Lessons for Creating Health Care Performance Dashboards

Posted by  | Measurement of Safety and Quality

In recent years, Johns Hopkins Medicine has grown increasingly sophisticated in its use of patient safety and quality dashboards, not just to spur internal improvement efforts but also to increase transparency with the public about our performance. In 2013, we launched an internal dashboard for our health system’s 41,000 employees, sharing our performance data on(...)

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Patient Care: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Patient Care: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Posted by  | Organizational and Cultural Change, Patient-Centered Care

Talking to health care professionals about the importance of loving your patients and colleagues — as I often do — might raise eyebrows. How can we be expected to love our patients during a 15-minute clinic visit? How can love form among hospital teams coming together for a surgical procedure but then moving on to other work?(...)

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Seeking the Right Stuff for Teams: In the Hospital or Distant Space

Seeking the Right Stuff for Teams: In the Hospital or Distant Space

Posted by  | Designing Safer Systems, Measurement of Safety and Quality, Organizational and Cultural Change

Wanted: Talented, highly driven individuals to take on multiyear work assignment with potential for benefiting humankind. Requires the highest levels of technical skill, teamwork and adaptability. Must be able to tolerate social isolation, mental and physical fatigue, demanding and uneven work schedules, days and nights away from home. Risk of depression and burnout. Must be(...)

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Patient Safety at 15: How Much Have We Grown?

Patient Safety at 15: How Much Have We Grown?

Posted by  | Designing Safer Systems, Measurement of Safety and Quality, Organizational and Cultural Change, Preventing Patient Harm

Fifteen-year anniversaries often come and go without fuss, overlooked in favor of those we can mark in full decades. Yet recently, at Johns Hopkins and nationally, we've crossed that mark for a couple of events in patient safety that merit both celebration and reflection. In January 2001, a series of lapses at Johns Hopkins led(...)

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