Here's a link to SharpBrains, where yesterday's host Alvaro Fernandez brought together Grand Rounds (a forum for medical bloggers) and Encephalon (a forum for people who blog about the brain and mind). Alvaro offers a tongue-in-cheek, "What a nice surprise! Hello. Nice to meet you" to both groups.
The introduction has already been made.
The need to recognize the inherent fallibility of humans (and design systems that are reliable in spite of the predictable faux pas humans make) was articulated nearly a decade ago in the first IOM report, To Err is Human. Alvaro's invitation, his need to suggest that healthcare professionals dip into the cognitive psychology well, is telling. It's surely part of the reason we've yet to post measurable gains in preventing inadvertent medical error.
It occurs to me that when introductions lead to a relationship, it's because both parties perceive a benefit. It's been ten years, and in the U.S, we're still discussing whether tired residents are really as tired as other tired people. And entertaining other intention-oriented ideas, like "Follow the 5 Rights." This suggests cognitive dissonance between the safety paradigm we have and the one we need. Apparently, "we're just not into you," SharpBrains.
Healthcare remains distinguished from other high consequence industries by the degree of personal vigilance we tolerate and rely on. No matter where you or your organization may be on the journey toward improving patient safety, you should agree to a second date with the folks who study the performance parameters of humans.
Applying lessons learned to healthcare workers and the systems used to deliver care is a necessary step in eradicating the public health problem called "medical error."