If you are a healthcare professional and haven’t read John Nance’s book Why Hospitals Should Fly, I highly suggest you shell out the money and read the book. It’s a easy read and does a great job of thinking up a fictional hospital that strives to be the best in patient safety and quality of care. Yes, it’s fictional but that doesn’t mean that many of the ideas that Nance espouses in the book couldn’t be introduced into real life. I’ve quoted a few passages from the book previously, but this one is one of my favorites.
If you want to sail in a boat that floats, and I tell you that to do so you need to repair the holes in the hull and not just be exceptional at bailing, it would be pretty stupid of you to go sailing off without plugging those holes, right? Well, that’s the same principle. Want to keep your patients safe and satisfied? Here are the ways to accomplish that, how to make a high-reliability organization out of a high-risk enterprise. You want result B? Then you use method A. That simple. But if you think it’s okay to keep on killing a few hundred thousand patients a year and feeding the coffers of malpractice lawyers because change is deemed too expensive or difficult, or too scary and uncertain, then go ahead and avoid change and keep on doing it the same way.