Monday, December 06, 2010

Universal safety

#IHI The transformation of health care from a cottage industry characterized by the artistic efforts of individual practitioners to a self-improving system of care delivery will be aided by lessons from other high performance industries. The IHI Annual Forum recognizes the potential for this learning opportunity. So, before the formal sessions start, the organizers arrange excursions to some local businesses in the Orlando area.

What does a theme park like Universal Orlando offer to clinicians and health care administrators? Well, it turns out that the resort has an exemplary safety record, both for the tens of thousands of daily visitors and for the actors and stunt people who perform every day. A group of us spent the better part of today in a conference room at the park, learning of the firm's principles and techniques. The lessons were a direct parallel to those I have discussed on this blog: Framing issues in the context of the purpose of the organization; standardization to avoid variability; encouraging front line staff to call out problems and near misses; prompt reporting of adverse events; and use of root cause analysis when failure occurs.

In the slide shown, note the parallel between the phrase, "No such thing as an accident," and Joe Gavin's comment from the Apollo space program, "There is no such thing as a random failure."

Each organization must adopt techniques that support these goals, techniques that are consistent with the culture of the organization. In the case of Universal, for example, "safety bucks" are handed out to staff members who report safety hazards. These coupons can be used to purchase food at the staff grill.

The company has also prepared an introductory safety video for its staff. It makes ample use of the movies and actors from the firm's cinema productions. It also has a good dose of humor thrown in, consistent with the desire for all activities to support an environment of fun in the park. Here is an excerpt from the Safety Man film.

If you cannot see the video, click here.

No comments: