“If We Could See Inside Others’ Hearts”

Today was the first official day of the Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety: The Telluride Experience, and after just a few short hours here I realized how fitting that name is. First of all, Telluride really is an experience. The beauty can’t be captured in pictures and the peacefulness and tranquility is something that can only be felt. It truly is the perfect location to forget about the stress of life and the pressure of school and focus on the important issue of patient safety. Second, the insight, opinions, and ideas that my fellow “Telluride Alumni” have already shared makes me believe that these really are the emerging leaders in patient safety. The discussions had during day one have already exceeded my expectations and I look forward to what the rest of the week will bring.

One of the topics that came up today that resonated with me most was the issue that sometimes healthcare workers lose focus. The priority becomes simply finishing the task at hand rather than having goal-oriented behavior. Along with this, comes a problem of a lack of respect often found in the healthcare system. This includes not only a lack of respect for other members of the healthcare team, but also for the patient and their families.

These two concepts made me think of a video produced by the Cleveland Clinic entitled, ““If We Could See Inside Others’ Hearts.” It is a wonderful video that reminds us that we never know what a person is going through and each person we meet should be treated with compassion and respect. As healthcare providers, we need to remember that our goal is to provide our patient with the best care possible and do our best to ensure a positive outcome. While there are many tasks involved in this, we need to remember that our patients are more than just a diagnosis or a set of vitals. They are real people with real fears, concerns, and questions. Giving the best possible care means respecting the patient enough to take the time to address these issues with them and include them in their care. I feel that working together as a team in this way will help increase patient satisfaction and also improve patient outcomes.