By Christy Chemmachel

I am so grateful for having the opportunity to speak with Helen Haskell in person today, I have heard her and her son’s story during graduate school, and to be able to interject and express the areas I felt there could be prevention of medical errors was a very empowering situation. One aspect of our discussion that I feel very strongly toward is the fact that patients and patient family members should be more involved in the care we provide our patients. Patient’s families truly are a constant, as a bedside ICU nurse I rely on them to inform me about the patients lifestyle when the patient themselves is not able to, their preferences and their quirks as a human being to let me care for them better, whether it be turning them on their side because they had back surgery and normally have back pain when they are on their back, or that they have an intolerance to a certain medication. If we are incorporating them into the small aspects of care, why are we not putting more emphasis on what the family is informing us about a patients progress or regression on a day to day basis? One thing I believe most medical professionals do not realize is the amount of time a patients loved one spends at the bedside, waiting to “catch” a MD at the bedside, they take off of work, leave their children with others, and even neglect themselves trying to be a patient advocate. As we all go forward I hope we all can remember Lewis Blackman and Helen Haskell and remember that open communication between healthcare providers and patients/patients families are vital to patient safety,