I'm in a patient safety workshop in Boston today, about engaging minorities in safer care. We just saw a video about safety awareness, encouraging patients to realize what a good role they can play in helping clinicians (doctors and nurses) get everything right. (Long story short, there are many many ways that things can and do go wrong - some complicated, some simple.)
When people talk about making healthcare more effective, "compliance" often comes up. It's usually about whether you and I take our pills, improve our diet, etc. Patient compliance is a hot topic on blogs: Google shows 93,000 blog posts, and 9,000 in the past year.
But the video made a thought come up: holy cow, a lot of healthcare quality issues are because clinicians forget to fulfill their part of the plan. Ironic! But fault-finding finger-pointing doesn't produce behavior change as well as inspiration does - calling forth what people know to be the best in themselves. Here's a draft of a message we might want to spread - feel free to share:
"Compliance: It's Not Just for Patients Anymore."
We all know about patient compliance: whether patients follow our instructions to accomplish good care. When compliance falls short, our profession is undermined. Care suffers, and our efforts are frustrated.
The same is true when we don't comply with our part. Whether it's hand washing or the Five Rights of administering medications, any shortfall cheats the profession as well as the patient. And perhaps our diligence - or lack of it - even rubs off on patients.
Compliance isn't just for patients anymore. Let's not cut corners. Let's set a great example for every patient, and stick to the plan.
This text authored by "e-Patient Dave" deBronkart. May be posted & shared freely with this attribution intact (Creative Commons Share-Alike 3.0)
- The safety awareness video is in this e-patients.net post.
- MITSS, the sponsor of this workshop, is here.
- The "five rights of medication administration" are:
- The right patient (this is why they constantly ask your name and date of birth)
- The right drug (medications too often get mixed up)
- The right dose (Dennis Quaid's newborn twins famously almost died because two bottles of medication looked too similar though one was 1,000 times stronger)
- The right time (4x/day, before meals, etc)
- The right route (pill vs IV, etc)