Thursday, April 16, 2009

Human Factors

The bi-weekly nursing blog carnival, Change of Shift, is up over at Emergiblog. I love the name "Change of Shift" because the view of healthcare that emerges there, like a Change of Shift hand-off, provides a window into the system we use to deliver care. The realities faced by clinicians on the front line are good reads for anyone interested in understanding the physical and mental challenges involved in providing care, and these accounts show how much relationships matter.

I especially loved a post by Drug Pusher (and not just because I have a keen interest in medication safety!).

The summary of nurses' views about barriers to providing safe care at Better Health is definitely worth reading, especially for people working to develop health IT products. I have an untested hypothesis that goes something like this: Few industries interested in producing reliable results or maintaining strong financial performance would support "humans babysitting machines" to the extent that we currently see in healthcare. Watching "safety" fight with "efficiency" is like watching "healthcare" fight "education" for scarce resources. These are not "pick one" issues. "Nurses dish on communication lapses that harm patients" seems to support my hypothesis.

I hope you'll visit Change of Shift every other Thursday: it's a good place to benchmark practices and keep an eye on emerging trends.

Next up: Deconstructing an error-prone IV medication set-up in a pediatric patient. Review Part 1 here.

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