• Stephen Harden

Hiding during Patient Safety Week

Today begins Patient Safety Awareness Week.


Many healthcare leaders will acknowledge it, but are actually hiding from it.


They do this in two ways:


The first way is refusing to be clear and precise about the exact patient safety metric that is being pursued in their organization. Avoiding specifics about what they hope to accomplish and by when. Being vague about exactly how patient safety success will be measured and therefore being vague about what failure is.


After all, if no one knows exactly what the metric is, it's hard feel like a failure if it isn't achieved.


The second way of hiding this week is even more insidious. Leaders degrade the urgency of the mission of patient safety. "No margin, no mission." They become diffuse. They distract. Anything to avoid planting a stake and saying, "We will achieve this metric by this date."


It's possible to spend the next five days of Patient Safety Awareness Week in doing nothing but hiding from the mission of patient safety. The Memorial Cancer Institute refused to hide. And look at what they accomplished. Be like Memorial.

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