Monday, May 12, 2014

When we talk about standard work in clinical settings, it can refer to lots of things, but adherence to safety protocols tops the list.  Here's a great story from the Washington Post about Community Hospital in Munster, Indiana, describing what happened "when MERS showed up at its emergency room."  Excerpt:

MERS might not have been the first thing on the minds of doctors and nurses when a still-unnamed patient came into the emergency department with symptoms of what looked like a bad case of the flu.

And that’s the point, Alan Kumar, the hospital’s chief information officer, told me Monday: Staff are drilled on proper procedures for handling infectious diseases regardless of what they might be, so if they ever face a situation like this one, the danger can be contained.

“If they all know the protocols and standards, [and follow them],” he said, “when something like this comes in, the exposure is minimized.”

A friend at a major academic medical center wrote me:

Think about what this community hospital did.  I can't even imagine seeing the kind of general process they exhibited in my place, or others for that matter.  Protocol, protocol, and the staff did well.  They had no suspicion of what they had in their midst until ex post.


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