Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What Pilots Can Teach Hospitals About Patient Safety

Bringing pilot safety concepts to hospitals ...

"Wearing scrubs and slouching in their chairs, the emergency room staff members, assembled for a patient-safety seminar, largely ignored the hospital’s chief executive while she made her opening remarks. They talked on their cellphones and got up to freshen their coffee or snag another danish.

A growing number of health care providers are trying to learn from aviation accidents and, more specifically, from what the airlines have done to prevent them. In the last five years, several major hospitals have hired professional pilots to train their critical-care staff members on how to apply aviation safety principles to their work.

They learn standard cockpit procedures like communication protocols, checklists and crew briefings to improve patient care, if not save patients’ lives. Though health care experts disagree on how to incorporate aviation-based safety measures, few argue about the parallels between the two industries or the value of borrowing the best practices.

Spurred by a 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine, an arm of the National Academies, titled “To Err Is Human,” which estimated that as many as 98,000 patients die annually from preventable medical errors, and by more recent bad publicity from mistakes like amputations of the wrong limbs, many health care providers are redoubling their efforts to improve patient safety."    (Continued via New York Times)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Hospitals Learning From Pilots - Ergonomics

Hospitals Learning From Pilots

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