Communication with Assumptions is a Plan to Fail

We are usually told it is silly to make assumptions. But it can actually be deadly in healthcare. The importance of pushing assumptions out of the way for effective communication was a big talking point here in day 2 of the summer camp. Murphy’s law states anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Same thing goes for medicine and the imperfect human beings that man the ship. Hence assumptions only place our patients in greater danger for medical errors. John Nance’s story about the 18 year old novice airman was an amazing anecdote to drive home the point. Nance never assumed he was a pilot incapable of errors and empowered the young man through effective communication. The young airman never assumed his superiors were correct and voiced his ideas in time to save hundreds of lives. Just goes to show how far certain cultural changes such as avoiding assumptions, communicating effectively and being mindful can drastically improve the safety in our healthcare without even having to overhaul the system itself.