Today, I met with a tremendous number of patient safety advocates at IHI. My work with Cautious Patient Foundation centers around patient safety. But I have, up until now, not met very many Patient Safety advocates in person.
That all changed today. I was introduced to forty of them at once.
Frankly, it was heart-wrenching. Credentials for patient advocates in the patient safety community are not M.D., or R.N. or PhD.
Credentials read: lost son to MRSA infection, infected with flesh-eating bacteria due to unsafe surgical conditions, child brain-damaged from new-born jaundice, spouse lost to multiple medical errors.
These people have paid dearly for their credentials. It was moving to hear the introductions, and you can share in the experience. Paul Levy (yes that Paul Levy) diligently tweeted about many of the introductions. That is not the only record kept of this morning. Regina Holliday (yes that Regina Holliday) was doing one of her paintings for the morning. I hope to get some more info on this soon!!
Overall it was a humbling experience. I have been with e-patients before, but often, e-patient stories are uplifting, they have both tragedy and triumph. With these e-patients, the triumph is often that they can talk about their loved one coherently without weeping. Almost everyone, (including me) in the room was probably dealing with mild to severe PTSD in one way or another. Most of us were high functioning, but many of us were still very very angry. And when you heard the details, it was hard to say that bitterness or anger were not entirely appropriate. These people are justifiably furious.
I already have 10 new ideas for good software projects.