Friday, December 17, 2010

A Microcosm of Leveraging Knowledge - Highly Reliable Organizations

Yesterday, I met with other Ascension Health ministries to discuss our High Reliability platform on our journey towards Healing Without Harm by 2014. This represents a commitment to an unending destination in quality, safety and experience for patients, associates, volunteers, physicians and leaders. In short, High Reliability Organizations in one that delivers on what it intends to and we all have dedicated ourselves to this endeavor.

We discussed 5 principles associated with delivering highly reliable care, each and every time. Yes, these are obvious - the consistent delivery of care and the leverage of knowledge will make our healthcare systems better across the nation. It starts with Engagement - engaged associates, volunteers, physicians, patients and families who participate and support in the care provided.

Our group yesterday served as just a small microcosm of sharing and leveraging knowledge across 70 hospitals. That is how we will all change our care delivery in a more effective way - truly sharing best practices.

At the end of the day the key is utilizing these High Reliability Principles as a guide to deliver on what you intended to to. The principles include:

1. Preoccupation with Failure
- Predict and eliminate harm
2. Reluctance to Simplify
- Acknowledge full range of opportunities for error
3. Sensitivity to Operations
- Recognize and address anomalies and potential errors by providing holistic patient care
4. Resilience
- Requires teamwork to adopt and respond quickly
5. Deference to Expertise
- Encourage teamwork by de-emphasizing hierarchy to allow people with the appropriate knowledge relevant to an issue to be included in decision making.

Again, things we know. It will be those systems who deliver these principles most consistently who will serve as the highly reliable organizations.

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