The Perils of Un-Coordinated Healthcare: A Strategic Approach Toward Eliminating Preventable Harm – Book Review as published in the Footnotes section of the November 2018 issue of Quality Progress Magazine.
Patricia W. Morrill, Routledge, 2017, 100 pp., $54.95 list (book).
The topic of eliminating preventable medical errors made by staffs working in medical institutions—whether they are large hospitals or small clinics—has been in news for many years but recently has gained more interest.
This book focuses first on the details of a real-life case of preventable death, followed by the introduction of a 10-step model. The model, if followed, could lead to the improvement of healthcare processes and consequently, reduction and ultimately elimination of preventable medical harms.
The book begins with a detailed description of the author’s tragic personal journey, starting with her mother’s first visit to an orthopedist to the day her mother passed away.
The author continues by introducing probing questions related to the events in her mother’s case, focusing on the uncoordinated care and its impact on patients and their families.
Each discussion is followed by a series of recommended research topics that provide useful and expanded information on the topic under discussion. This helps healthcare professionals assess processes that effect their patients.
Additional case studies—along with the author’s personal observations—lead to recognizing of the importance of the major contributors to preventable errors: workplace environment, staffing models and safety culture.
The second part of the book covers the importance of the coaching role executives must play in leading change and process improvements.
In this part, the author introduces the 10-step process improvement strategy deployment model that is based on the plan-do-check-act method. Recommended research topics are included for each of the 10 improvement steps.
The last section of the book includes guidelines for each department in a medical institution on using the improvement strategy through the case study’s seven patient scenarios: inpatient, physician office visits, rehab, emergency, surgery, nutrition and financial services/patient accounts.
This book provides healthcare practitioners and the individuals managing various medical institutions with a refreshing approach and powerful tools they can use to provide more reliable and accurate healthcare services to patients.
I am passionate about spreading information to make preventable harm more discussable so we can reduce the poor statistic that preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. By integrating Lean and Project Management methodologies, we can implement organizational change more rapidly.