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  • Writer's pictureStephen Harden

Take Charge of Your Own Employee Patient Safety Initiatives

Almost all of us believe we are capable of editing, giving feedback or merely criticizing.

Initiating a safety project, a new process, a protocol, a new policy--these are things that don't come naturally to many people. The challenge is in starting something even when you're not officially in charge.

Not enough people believe they are capable of taking the initiative and seeing it to a successful conclusion. It's so much easier to complain, but then say, "It's not my job."

The shortage of people who look around and say "Why not? I can fix that," doesn't have much to do with the innate ability to create or initiate.

It has everything to do with believing that it's possible and acceptable for you to do it. Even if you are not the manager or administrator.

Most people have been brainwashed into believing that their job is to critique the world, not to design what happens in it. It might have been your job in the past just to do what you were told, and no more. But if you are going to survive in the new world of health care reimbursement, ACA, value-based purchasing, and web sites that publish your safety metrics, it's not anymore.

Get off the sidelines, stop pointing out other people's typos, and find out where and how you can contribute.

Here are a few ways you could do that without getting anyone's permission...

  • Standardize the way you do your own personal patient handoffs.

  • Determine the most complex thing you do every day. Make a personal checklist for the critical items in that process.

  • Organize your work space. Show your co-workers why you did it that way.

  • Determine the process you use the most during your work day. Figure out a way to standardize the way you do it so it is most efficient with the least variability. Share the result with your colleagues.

Your patient's deserve it.

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