Friday, January 8, 2010

The Man Who Mistook His Gel for a Chapstick

Just about every morning, I get up at around 5 (my wife says the alarm goes off earlier which may be true) and I head off to the gym after gathering my belongings. Though I set out my "stuff" the night before, I miss some things from time to time. I keep the lights off not to wake up my wife (again, probably too late given the alarm clock situation) so I usually search for things in the dark.

A few days ago, I went through her dresser drawers to look for lip balm (in a small container). I have been using it for the past few days and have noticed that it smells funny and has not helped my chapped lips whatsoever. This morning I finally gave the lip balm a second glance. I noticed that it was actually a hair gel product.

It takes me to my hospital and our efforts to read labels, follow protocols, etc, to ensure the safety of our patients.

Here are a couple of safety examples which we highlighted in our December Highlights:

- Unit 4 South had zero falls in the month of November. Not coincidentally, 4 South also increases its patient satisfaction scores every time we measure them. Thank you to all the 4 South staff for their hard work in giving our patients the very best care and safety.

- Sheri Sander, PharmD, put together a poster for the Medical Staff Lounge on medication errors related to hydromorphone, a known high-risk medication. The poster shows a dramatic decrease in medication errors after we instituted multiple safety measures. There were many involved in producing these outstanding results, including pharmacy, nursing, P&T Committee and Safe Medication Practices Team. This poster is another great example of improving our patients’ safety.

On a lighter note, when I shared my lip balm incident during this morning's Town Hall meeting, someone reminded me that a) we should not be sharing medication and b) I should learn a lesson about taking my wife's belongings without asking.
(photo courtesy


  1. Too funny! Love the graphic.

  2. Scott -- long story that we love to tell about our mother. She once used white shoe polish applied with a dauber for a full week as a facial mask. Said it was the best stuff she ever found until she realized what it was. Now I can think of you every time I re-tell that story. No falls at our house either, even with an icy driveway. C. McKnight