Saturday, September 20, 2008

Time for another apology

Well, it turns out, in the post below, that I unwittingly engaged in a bit of revisionist history. As you may recall, I said this:

"But then I noticed two problematic items in the document that was about to be approved. Here's the first: It is the responsibility of the physician initiating the procedure to initiate the time-out.... I said, don't we want to expand on this and make it clear that each staff person in the room is encouraged and empowered to question whether the time-out has taken place and/or to remind the physician that it should be."

But then I wrote this:
"Why did I have to suggest these modifications? ... And if not, why wouldn't any other member of the MEC have thought to raise them."

One of the doctors at the MEC meeting later reminded me that he, not I, actually first brought up this point. Shows you how tricky memory is. My only explanation is that I remembered it as being my idea because I did indeed comment on it in the way mentioned, and that I was the one who brought up the second point about patient involvement in the time out. But he is exactly right, and I apologize for presenting it wrong.

So I think the record is now accurate, and I am pleased that this current revision helps make my original purpose even more complete. The thrust of my first post was meant to present part of the story of our evolution as an organization and of me personally as CEO. As this same doctor later reminded me, "There are many people in our medical center who are thinking and acting in support of patient safety in multiple ways every day. Although we are not yet where we ultimately want to be, our progress should be acknowledged along with our challenges." To put a more finely focused light on this, this whole MEC episode reinforces Göran Henriks' point: "There needs to be trust from the support system that tells the people at the front that we respect what they are trying to do."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your explanation is reasonable and no one likely takes offense. You've done well at presenting facts in the past. For those who are more forceful in presenting their positions it can happen easily.