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Addressing the Patient Safety Movement

Addressing the Patient Safety Movement

The following comments were made by Julia Hallisy at the Patient Safety Movement summit in Irvine, California January, 2015. After losing Kate, in the deepest, darkest moments of my despair I took great solace in the groundbreaking Institute of Medicine Report, To Err is Human. An esteemed national group was stating publicly what patient advocates had been trying desperately to convey – that our healthcare system needed across-the-board change to deal with a level of harm that could only be described as a public health emergency. Patients who had experienced harm cheered from across...

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There Will Be Blood; Death Spiral

By Susan Imperial First posted in the “Turning a New Leaf” blog. In late summer of 2004 at the age of 75, my father Al was diagnosed with a blood disorder of idiopathic origins.  He had been feeling chronically tired for several months, and when the test results came back, they revealed that his red blood cell production was significantly below normal.  It wasn’t cancer, it really wasn’t anything “present.”  It was, starkly and simply, a near absence of function. In addition to the many questions and feelings that this news elicited, it dawned on me that my father’s Italian...

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Partnering With Parents to Save Children’s Lives

Author: Dale Ann Micalizzi, PIPSQC Ambassador Lead Dale Ann Micalizzi is the Founder/Director Justin’s HOPE Project at The Task Force for Global Health. Reprinted with permission. I was recently reminded of a team building activity, usually for youth, referred to as the “Trust Fall.” You’ve heard of it, I’m sure. It’s where you place your arms across your chest, close your eyes and free fall backwards into the interlocking arms of your friends or team. Some may be reluctant to be the one falling or the one expected to catch. But the goal of the exercise is to build harmonious...

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Parallels Between the JFK Anniversary and Medical Harm

Parallels Between the JFK Anniversary and Medical Harm

While watching the news coverage of the anniversary of the death of President Kennedy the correlations between the assassination and the ongoing struggles of the patient safety movement were impossible for me to ignore. President Kennedy was a man who knew great personal suffering and loss and the ravages of physical injury and illness. He faced adrenal insufficiency from Addison’s disease, a debilitating back injury in the war, the loss of his oldest brother in a military operation, and the death of a sister in a plane crash. Kennedy experienced chronic pain, a serious back surgery that...

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Knowledge is a Prerequisite for Patient Engagement

Reposted from Patient and Family Centered Care Partners (PFCC)   A decade of caring for a critically ill child and another 13 years of patient safety and advocacy efforts have convinced me that access to even a small amount of information at the right time can completely transform a health care experience. Why am I so sure? Because even as an educated health care provider, I struggled at the bedside to keep my child safe from harm. I understood most of the terminology that the doctors were using, I had knowledge of the disease process surrounding infection, and I considered myself to be...

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The Front Lines of “Slow Advocacy”

  “I don’t want to be a pessimist: the work you have done is important and it IS helping. It’s just so slow.”    This sentence was part of an email I received recently from another patient safety advocate and it expresses a sentiment that I face on a regular basis. I have listened to others say the same thing for years – “What you do is great, but…”  Comments like this usually make me pull back and question my efforts.  This time I decided to “lean in” and remain committed to work that I know from first-hand experience is valuable. I now refuse to minimize what I do and...

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