• Stephen Harden

What if Reducing Patient Safety Events Were Your Only Job?

Updated: Jun 7, 2018

You have competing priorities and your organization, and your role in it, has grown. Maybe patient safety isn't the most important thing on your agenda any more...


However, the person with your role in the competing hospital across town might actually act like patient safety is their only job. They might believe that treating their patients as if they're worth the effort in patient safety is the only way to go. They may believe that fixing the medication reconciliation process, or improving the culture in the OR, or taking one extra moment to look a patient in the eye and talking to her with respect as you explain your safety processes is worth it.


We don't become mediocre all at once, and we rarely do it on purpose. Instead, we start believing that our job is bigger than it used to be, and that patient safety is not the "thing" it used to be, the one thing we used to do so brilliantly.


Patients don't care about your new priorities. They want to be made well. They want to be treated like a human. They don't want you to hurt them.


You can't accomplish the patient's "triple aim" by doing what you used to do, but less well.

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