From the Institute for Family-Centered Care Conference

Hi there-

In August, Sorrel had the opportunity to attend the Institute for Family-Centered Care‘s 4th International Conference in Philadelphia. The Institute for Family-Centered Care (IFCC) is a non-profit working with patient advocates and health care providers to improve care delivery. Sorrel was honored to deliver the closing plenary address. IFCC hosted two book signings in support of Josie’s Story. Sorrel loved meeting with the dedicated conference attendees, who are going back to hospitals all around the country and work to strengthen productive partnerships between families and health care providers. Thank you to everybody who stopped by the book table.

Here are two pictures from Philly:


Photo Credit: Institute for Family Centered Care


Photo Credit: Institute for Family Centered Care

Thanks to the entire IFCC’s team- with a special nod to Bev Johnson and Julie Ginn Moretz- for their hard work in creating a meaningful, successful conference!


P.S.- Come back next week for a special note from Sorrel.

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Parents the “Missing Link” in Patient Safety Efforts

Hello everybody-

A fascinating new report on the role of parents in pediatric patient safety efforts is published in the July 30 issue of Journal of Hospital Medicine (paid registration required). A summary of the article is available through the University of Michigan.
Beth A. Tarini, MD, MS, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School, and her co-authors Paula Lozano, MD, MPH, and Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH, of the Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute, looked into parents’ perceptions of medical errors, patient safety, and communication. They found that nearly two-thirds of parents felt that they had to closely oversee their children’s hospital care to prevent a medical error from happening.
Interestingly, parents who reported a higher level of confidence in communicating with the medical team were less likely to be worried by the potential for medical errors.
Dr. Tarini draws an important conclusion: “We need to address parents’ concerns about errors and find ways to make them feel comfortable talking to us about their child’s care. Parents are an underutilized resource in our efforts to prevent medical errors.”
I can’t echo Dr. Tarini’s sentiment enough. While some parents are trained medical professionals, most are not. But parents- because of their close relationships with their children- are often able to sense important but subtle changes in their children’s conditions. Parents are more than visitors. They have the potential to meaningfully contribute to their children’s medical care. Time has come to harness that potential.
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JKF now on Facebook!

Hello everybody-

First Twitter, now Facebook!
The Josie King Foundation now has a presence on Facebook. Please check us out and link to us.
Thanks for your support!
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Summer Shipping Details

Hello everybody-

Just a quick note to let you know that there will be a shipment of “The Josie King Story” DVDs and single copies of the Care Journal going out on Wednesday, July 22. If you would like a copy of either the DVD or the Care Journal soon, please email by 5 pm EST on Tuesday, July 21.

Requests received after Tuesday at 5 pm will be shipped the week of August 14th.

We will still be able to process bulk Care Journal requests during this time.

Thanks for understanding!


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Thank you, LeanBlog!

Happy New Year!

The charity auction organized by Lean Hospitals author and LeanBlog editor Mark Graban has ended. Thanks to the winner, whose support will help us continue our grassroots patient safety work in 2009. Of course, thanks to Mark for his time and great idea!

We wish you a healthy, safe 2009.

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Charity Online Auction to Benefit JKF

Thanks to the generosity of Mark Graban, the Josie King Foundation is the charity beneficiary of an online auction.

Mark Graban is a quality consultant who recently wrote Lean Hospitals, a book that applies the “lean” techniques of quality improvement and employee satisfaction to the healthcare setting. Mark is also the founder of LeanBlog and LeanPodcast.

The item for auction is a 4-CD podcast of Mark speaking with lean expert Norman Bodek and one of Mr. Bodek’s books, autographed by the author himself.
Please check out Mark’s blog and consider making a bid to support the Josie King Foundation. The auction ends Friday, December 19th.
Thanks again, Mark!
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“Don’t think that you are more safe in a place just because they don’t talk about their errors. “

With Labor Day right around the corner, I’m catching up on some healthcare blog reading that I’ve missed out on while enjoying the summer. Earlier this month on “Running a Hospital” Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CEO Paul Levy discusses transparency in the patient safety realm. BIDMC took the bold step to report the incidence of preventable harm events on their very public website. You can take a look at the report here.

For each of the Joint Commission’s preventable harm events, BIDMC lists the number of times such an event happened at the hospital within a quarter. Levy’s discussion on the motivation and concerns surrounding such a public forum is insightful. The emphasis on reporting the raw number of harm events- and not obscuring them by reporting them as percentages of total patient population- shows a real understanding that patients are people whose lives are truly impacted by preventable errors.
It also sets up a clear standard of comparison; the goal is to have zero preventable events, and anything above zero signals continued room for improvement. What’s the bottom line? Big thinking in a simple framework that patients, nurses, doctors and hospital administrators alike can use to chart progress and identify ways to change the status quo and improve patient safety.
The line from Levy’s post that struck me the most is the quote used for the title of this post: “Don’t think that you are more safe in a place just because they don’t talk about their errors.” I think this succinctly sums up an important aspect of patient safety today. For years, it was commonly assumed that there was an acceptable threshold for errors in medicine. Then came the realization that harm events could be prevented by analyzing and reworking broken systems. It’s a huge change in philosophy, and the exciting part is that as patients and healthcare providers, we are all in the middle of a true zeitgeist shift. The language and tools to move medicine into a new, safer phase are right now being developed at a quick clip, and it will take some time and thought to figure out how we can best use these new resources to improve patient safety.
Surprising news about the incidence of harm events at one institution doesn’t necessarily mean that a hospital isn’t safe or actively trying to become safer; instead, it’s a new way to bring healthcare providers and consumers on the same safety page.
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