Last week I finished a new book and it is yet another written by a talented physician. This one is Doing Harm, a mystery and thriller, by Kelly Parsons. You can read the official description on this link, but here I'll give you my take on it without giving any hints about the ending.
First, I thought it was a great story line and very realistic. It is one of those few books about hospitals where the people and environment described actually fits with typical experiences. There are many ways a patient can die in the hospital and this book explores a few -- a few more that I, a former risk manager and administrator really wants to know about. Dr. Parsons brings in the safety committee into the story and even mentions administrators without making us sound dorky -- like some of the TV shows do.
There were a few places where I anticipated how things would develop or end, but Dr. Parsons still surprised me. Near the end, I had a hard time getting out of the car and turning it off.
What scared me the most were the issues around staff feeling comfortable coming forward and expressing their fears and concerns -- all while knowing they would be supported by leadership. The lesson is that administrators need to do more to engender trust and open lines of communication from all staff. We are placed in positions of responsibility and must be open to the good, the bad and the ugly. Otherwise, we fail our staff, patients, community ... and ultimately ourselves.
Whether you are a healthcare professional or a consumer of healthcare services, I think you will enjoy Doing Harm. I also think all readers will learn from the messages and perhaps become more engaged in patient safety.