John J. Nance is visiting UT’s Health Science Campus right now, and I’m so glad that he’s here!
Nance is a best-selling author and well-known international advocate of crew resource management and expanded human performance training. He speaks to a wide variety of audiences, including medical professionals, and he is a founding board member of the National Patient Safety Foundation, a not-for-profit organization with a mission, simply put, “to improve the safety of patients.”
Nance’s book, “Why Hospitals Should Fly – The Ultimate Flight Plan to Patient Safety and Quality Care,” outlines the barriers to better practices within hospitals, using analogies to flight as examples.
He spoke to UT physicians and administrators last night, and I was lucky enough to also be a part of the audience.
Nance talked very pointedly about what he sees as a health-care cultural barrier to patient safety – absence of the assumption of human error.
Humans are not perfect. Period.
UTMC has a lot of brilliant, talented humans taking care of patients, but none of them are perfect.
Nance is challenging everyone who delivers health care to actually embrace that fact. He is challenging doctors, nurses, techs and everyone else taking care of a patient to work as a team, not as a group with a commander who isn’t to be questioned and followers who stay silent and follow orders.
This journal feeds both to a Web site for UT faculty, staff and students, and to UTMC’s public Web site, so I have a challenge for all of you…
Regardless of whether you’re a physician, a nurse or a patient receiving care, each of you is part of that health care team. If you have a concern, a question, or something in your gut just doesn’t feel right, you have a responsibility to speak up. As Nance said last night, “If you see it, you own it.”
Even if, in the end, your concern is unfounded, I think a patient would rather it be checked, don’t you?