2016 National Nurses Week: Safety does start with each of us – in our own way. For those of us providing direct patient care, we are individual contributors with every decision and action we take. For those of us who teach, we are responsible for not only teaching but modeling the critical thinking skills and behaviors for learners that support a culture of safety now and in their daily practice.
For those of us who work in industry, I strongly believe our role is to help our organizations develop products that support the ideals of patient and clinician safety. Notice that I called out clinician safety as well as patient safety. I did this quite deliberately since patient safety cannot be separated from clinician safety in my way of thinking. If a product design or solution does not provide the best ergonomics possible for the clinician or applications make it too easy to do the wrong thing, then we are not providing a culture of safety for the clinician and eventually, patient safety will be compromised. Too many times have I watched clinicians struggling to work their way through complex screens or push heavy equipment simply to be able to provide medications for their patients. Lack of proper communication equipment that could lessen the physical and mental workload can take its toll.
So this week – think of the ways that you, no matter, your role can impact patient and clinician safety because it is true – every little bit helps!