Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Schulz is correct about being wrong

Author Kathryn Schulz recently provided a newspaper exposition of some of the themes of her new book, Being Wrong, Adventures in the Margin of Error. As noted on her website, Kathryn has "a credible (if not necessarily enviable) claim to being the world's leading wrongologist."

She finds fault in the way we find fault in ourselves. "Misunderstanding our mistakes . . . — seeing them as evidence of flaws and an indictment of our overall worth — exacts a steep toll on us. . . . [I]t impedes our efforts to prevent errors in domains, such as medicine and aviation, where we truly cannot afford to get things wrong."

The book is engaging and thought-provoking.

Kathryn uses our wrong-side surgery experience at BIDMC as an uncommon example of using error to improve things, particularly when an aggressive target for error reduction has been established and when a commitment to transparency has been adopted.

She notes, "If you really want to be right (or at least improve the odds of being right) you have to start by acknowledging your fallibility, deliberately seeking out your mistakes, and figuring out what caused you to make them."

(Bostonians can hear Kathryn in a reading this Friday evening at the Harvard Book Store.)


Anonymous said...

I love this blog.While other hospitals seek to hide, minimize or hope their mistakes are never mentioned again in public, this CEO repeatedly references the wrong site surgery in his blog, allows it to be used as a case study in the Institute for Health Care Improvement's Open Courses on patient safety, and now it's in a book. That's what I call commitment to a cause. BIDMC, pat yourselves on the back.

Rizwan ali said...

running a hospital in best medical field i really appreciate this blog nice posting thanks for sharing