We’ve been active all summer on various task forces and committees working with the Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement (CAI), Ariadne Labs (a center for health systems innovation at Harvard), and in conjunction with Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Our focus currently is on Communication and Resolution Programs (CRPs), and we are designing tools and curricula which will help teach CRPs to hospitals across the country. Through 18 months of training, these hospitals will understand better how to treat patients and families after harm events; how to learn from their mistakes while demonstrating accountability, compassion, and transparency; and how to be safer hospitals for their patients. We are proud to be involved with this initiative. To see some of the work we’ve been doing and learn more, check out the PACT Collaborative website.
Our work continues with the Washington Patient Safety Coalition as part of the group that is planning the Northwest Patient Safety Conference on October 6th and 7th, 2021. The planning committee includes representatives from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. With the conference virtual this year for the first time ever, we are hoping to draw participants from across North America. There are some highly renowned speakers from across the country and we feel privileged to have the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion ourselves on “Partnering with Patients Following Harm.” For anyone who is interested, see the conference website.
We were so excited when emails started coming inviting us to present in-person again. This was during that sweet moment early in the summer when the Delta variant hadn’t taken hold yet and we thought that the widespread availability of vaccines meant that this pandemic was going to be “under control” by the end of summer. We believe that Talia’s story really has the greatest impact when we are in the same room as the audience and presenting live, but once again that option has evaporated. We are back to doing trainings, webinars, and presentations virtually, with the hope that we’ll be able to speak in person later in 2022.
As summer was drawing to a close, we were interviewed on film at the University of Washington for an educational video that is being created for hospital administrators and personnel who are involved in patient safety work within their hospitals. It was nice to do something sort of live, but sitting in a dark room under the glare of bright lights, it was hard to see anyone but each other! Still, it was another important opportunity to elevate the patient and family voice. Our goal is to help providers and administrators develop a more real, tangible, emotional understanding of the patient/family experience after medical error, and in that way reinforce why improving patient safety matters so much.
With the leaves turning red and the rains finally arriving, autumn is upon us. Talia’s birthday is tomorrow—it would be her 31st. She’d likely be munching on fresh picked apples, sipping warm tea, and working on some kind of creative endeavor that only she could dream up. Instead she has missed out on her sister’s pregnancy and will miss the birth of the baby that would make her a first-time aunt. The hits continue to hurt; we never stop loving or missing our Talia. We are just left to bring the memory of her with us as we live our lives.
As of this week, one in 500 Americans has died due to Covid 19. That is an awful statistic. There are a lot of families and friends who are suffering and grieving those deaths right now… and forever.
Stay as safe as you can.
Naomi and Jeff