“We never compete on safety.”

“We never compete” are three words that are rarely heard in a row among medical professionals. By nature, there is significant competition in the realm of healthcare, whether between hospitals or individuals. For this reason, Dr. Mayer’s statement stands out to me that among healthcare organizations, “we never compete on safety.”

I have been amazed at the common experiences shared by nurses, medical students, and residents alike despite representing diverse areas of training and geographical regions of the United States. We have a tremendous opportunity to learn from each other. When it comes to patient safety, we all share a common goal, regardless of rivalries, personality conflicts, or other barriers that threaten patient safety. That is, to share best practices and follow the evidence to standardized practices that lead to optimal outcomes. Never is there a stronger need to collaborate in medicine, and conferences like TTE provide that avenue to converse, share, and inspire. “We never compete on safety” shifts the focus away from “me” and my own goals and towards “us” and what we can collectively achieve.
As I look ahead to the remaining days of TTE, I will transition into thinking about how this collaboration can continue well beyond the conference and translate to better practices in my clinical years and beyond.