• Stephen Harden

True Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare - Difficult and Frightening

Updated: Jun 7, 2018


The first thing that you learn from reading all of the self-help books, all of the do-it-yourself books, and from listening to all the marketing hype in this world is that "fun and easy" are the two magic words. You can learn anything by buying a book with "...for dummies" in the title.


Difficult and frightening never seem to be part of the equation.


Unfortunately, the patient safety and quality work you're being asked to do now in this crazy world of a change-a-minute in health care, is frightening. It's frightening to stand up for what you believe is necessary to do for patient safety, it's frightening to do something that might not work, frightening to do something that you have to be responsible for.


Let's face it, this is emotional labor you're getting paid to do for your health care organization. Put your heart into your work for your patients and it might get crushed.

Two things might hold someone back from sharing the mission of patient safety they've got inside: One, the fear of telling the truth to the administration about what's really risky in the way you care for patients, or two, the pitiful strategy of hiding the truth behind the pitch of "We're doing as well as anyone."


Your patients need you. Find your voice, stand up and tell administration and staff what you care about.

What you do in patient safety is vitally important, and what makes it your passion is that it is personal, important and fraught with the whiff of failure. This is precisely why what you do, when you do it well, is scarce and thus valuable—it's difficult to stand up and own it and say to your peers, "Here, I made this. and it makes our patients safe."

<span>Right now, the urgency is real. We have to create more culture change, create better systems of care, and build more reliability in our everyday work.


Your patients are waiting for you to get over being frightened. Find your voice. Make it heard.

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