|Alicia Cole, Actress and Patient |
Safety Advocate describes her injuries from a
hospital acquired infection
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
If the words on the huge screen in the front of the room are correct, and every hour 20 people die from preventable medical errors, in less than 24 hours, the deaths from preventable medical errors would be equivalent to every participant at this conference. Over 400 people were filled into the room at the beautiful hotel on the beach in California. They were all there as part of the Patient Safety Movement – where clinicians, hospital administrators and patient advocates pledge to reach the goal of zero preventable patient deaths by the year 2020.
In partnership with The Joint Commission, the Patient Safety Foundation began the Patient Safety Movement to offer solutions, share best practices, share stories and save lives.
Joe Kiani , founder and CEO of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation is the CEO of Masimo, a global medical technology company. Admittedly Joe Kiani has never had a medical injury himself or lost a family member from a medical mistake but is passionate about patient safety. He started the patient safety movement last year with the first conference in 2013.
At both conferences President Bill Clinton was the key note speaker and after he spoke Clinton was interviewed by Kiani. When asked by Joe Kiani why he agreed to be part of this movement, Clinton described it as being offered a ride in a Rolls Royce. President Clinton was obviously impressed with the enthusiasm and compared this movement to taking a ride in a fine automobile. Clinton described his work around the world saving lives. This is something he is excited about.
Others who spoke during the two and half day conference was Dr. Mark Chassin, President, Joint Commission, Dr. Patrick Conway, CMO Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Sir Liam Donaldson World Health Organization Envoy for Patient Safety amongst others.
The difference between this and other patient safety conferences is that this was about solutions. People didn’t come here unless they were serious. This was a conference to save lives, make a commitment, break down the silos, share ideas and we are all in this together.
The panel discussions had experts on just culture and spoke about transparency and disclosure. Alicia Cole, an actress and California patient safety advocate shared her heart breaking story about her hospital acquired infection and how it changed her life. Hand hygiene, we learned is only 40 % compliance among healthcare workers. It costs $20,000 to treat a patient with a surgical site infection and $6-$8,000.00 to treat a patient with a urinary tract infection. Over and over we heard comments like “just wash your hands” The stories went on…..After each panel, a speaker would then talk about how they saved lives so others can learn from them and even copy what other hospitals are doing.
The Joint Commission and Center for Transforming Healthcare is all about solutions. Once only known for surveying healthcare organizations, they have come a long way. Not just what may need help for improvement but now here are the tools to make the improvements.
I walked over to a young man filming the program from the back of the room. “Are you freelance?” I asked him. He told me he was. “What do you think of what you have heard so far?” He is, after all the people we need to connect with. The people who we need to reach to take an active role in their care. Our neighbors and friends, the woman in the supermarket, the office worker and those who know nothing about these problems being addressed in healthcare services. Matt, I later learned was his name, took his head phone off, bent down from his platform so we were face to face and looked me in the eye and said “wow, I think I have sleep apnea. After listening to the story about the guy who died from being given medication with untreated apnea I am going to go to my doctor and get it treated”. He went on to say that the story of John LaChance, who died from medication given without monitoring his sleep apnea, had made an impact on him. John’s wife told her husband’s story in a video at the summit. I brought Matt over to John’s wife so she can see how she may have helped someone by sharing John’s story. It is after all, why we do this.