Reviewing the works of medical authors has been an enjoyable change of pace for me. While it did take me while to finish this latest book, it wasn’t for a lack of interest. Instead, it was needing to fit reading text into my schedule, rather than road-ready audio.
Dr. Alan Wyler, a neurosurgeon, was dead right on his newest medical thriller – Dead Wrong. It was full of mystery, suspense and a battle between good and evil, as well as, smart and not-so-smart, or perhaps, ego vs. a-bit-much-ego.
The setting is mostly in (or should I say “within”) a large academic medical center and there are plenty of peaks into the environment that some of us take for granted -- until we read about it in a fictional story. It also provides a bit of medical and technical education (I liked the stuff on X-ray/CT/MRI) and a bit of fantasy or futuristic science.
This book is certainly not a “chick” book, so men will like it along with women who don’t mind a bit of “man talk”. Anyone involved in medical ethics may find Dead Wrong stirring a bit of “what if” thinking and those with hospital security responsibilities will find some new ideas for their next facility risk assessment. There is also a great deal in this book for those who like to think about strategy and actions and/or counter actions.
But, perhaps most importantly (and costly) is that this story is a Risk Manager’s nightmare. It highlights the importance of really engaged patients, sound consent processes and enterprise-wide research oversight.
Share your thoughts about this or other books by Dr. Wyler by leaving a comment. Are there others of his I should read?
The holidays will soon be here and there may be the need for a little something for a family member, hostess or perhaps a gift for your boss or co-workers. Finding just the right thing can be challenging. However, if the recipient is a healthcare professional, embraces technology, is innovative and forward thinking, a book on social media and technologies might be just the thing you are looking for this holiday season. If so, consider one of the following two books by yours truly. The newest one, published by HIMSS is a collection of case studies and best practices. The second, is a high level overview of social tools published by ACHE.
If you have read either or both already, feel free to leave a comment with your feedback!
I recently set up a patient and family advisory council to address safety and quality concerns from the patient/family perspective. Creating an organizational structure that would fit within the culture of the organization has certainly been the easy part. We started with a six-month pilot and then evolved based-upon what we learned as we progressed through the process. However, this blog post isn't about that stuff. It is about what it like to sit in a room with patients and family members who want to share their experience to make it better for those who follow.
The first lesson is to prepare yourself to listenthat very first meeting. Emotions that have been simmering under a lid will finally come out and there may be a bit of splattering all over the walls. However, don't get defensive, don't try to explain why..... just listen. Before any really work to improve processes and quality can begin patients and their family caregivers need to have an opportunity to share their frustrations and know that someone who cares is listening. You may also see a little of this bleed into the second meeting, so don't panic. Gradually, the patients and family members will be ready to work toward shared goals.
The second lesson is to not be sosurprisedby the first lesson. Prepare leaders for the fact that it isn't just a "bitch" session, nor an example of how an advisory council was a big mistake in the first place. When there is no or ineffective communication with patients, the pressure will build and then it shoots out when there is finally an opportunity for release. Think of it as a hose with its nozzle finally opened.
The third lesson is to be prepared for some strong facilitation. All of that emotion needs to be managed and directed in a productive manner. It needs to be controlled so that everyone has a chance to be heard and weaknesses or gaps in processes identified. Re-direction and probing questions are two very important tools for gathering usable information.
The fourth lesson is to ensure there is follow-up and communication back to the advisors. Actually looking into making changes and implementing their suggestions will build trust and help keep the advisors engaged. Even if something can't be changed, because it violates a law, regulation or corporate policy, the fact that the idea was explored or the "reason why" explained will help keep advisors coming back.
The last lesson is to make sure you have real work for the advisors. The sharing of stories and talking will get old after a few meetings for both the advisors and staff. This is when the group is ready to transition to the real work of improving the quality, safety and experience of the healthcare. This workwill come from the key strategies that affect patients and from the stories the advisors share about their experiences. By listening, you will soon identify the work to be done by your patient and family advisory council.
Have you ever wondered which hospitals were the most social media friendly or how your organization compares with others? Or, have you wanted to benchmark your hosptial against peers, but didn't know where to find the data. Well, the list of Top 100 Hospitals for 2014 was recently released and it is a great starting point.
In this listing, only Facebook and Twitter stats were pulled to determine which hospitals are doing the best job of connecting with their patients through social media. Scores for each type of activity, with a total of 100 possible—50 for Facebook and 50 for Twitter were assigned.
While other social media platforms are important to note, their focus was on the two most common and widely used in medical communication. To see who made the list and their rank, go to http://nursejournal.org/articles/top-100-most-social-media-friendly-hospitals-for-2014/#sthash.xcRAhbt6.dpuf