Attending the Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety is important to me because I practice within a field that is rich with opportunities for growth in terms of patient safety (Psychiatry). Because of the unique needs of our patients, we often have different practices from other specialties, especially within the inpatient setting. One example that I can think of in particular is the inconsistent use of patient care handoffs. This is an area that other specialties of medicine have made great progress in over the past decade or so but Psychiatry continues to lag behind. There are inconsistent practices for patient care transitions (both within the literature, but also practically speaking in clinical practice) and this can increase the risk of clinically relevant information being lost- impacting patient care outcomes.
My interests in Patient Safety also relate to the wellbeing of the healthcare workforce. When our caregivers (nurses, allied health staff, and providers) have psychiatric needs that have gone unaddressed or insufficiently managed, we must recognize the impact that this can have upon the care of our patients. Ensuring that our healthcare workers have access to quality mental health care is paramount to ensure they can be fully present at work and meet the various demands that our work requires to provide safe, effective care for our patients. I believe that my training as a psychiatrist, and particularly as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, helps me view the issues with the mental health of healthcare workers from a systematic perspective to help tackle this issue that has been present for quite some time but become even more prominent in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic.