Synopsis 5

101 Ways to Prevent Medical Errors

by Yinka Vidal

Synopsis #5 Chapter 10 - 15

Chapter 10

Evaluating the Laboratory’s Effectiveness in Serving the Hospital

It is highly important to evaluate the entire laboratory as if evaluating any other critical department for its effectiveness in serving patients. Presently, it is not wise to spend separate chapters in dealing with pharmacy, nursing, radiology and other critical departments. The measurement of laboratory’s effectiveness should be used as a prototype for measuring other critical departments. The important thing to bear in mind is to ask whether the operation of a particular department meets the needs of the hospital on all shifts. Questions should be asked about what can be done to improve the services being delivered without increasing cost. Is this department meeting the needs of the institution? What other ways can services be improved? This chapter discusses 17 critical issues of a functionally effective laboratory.

Chapter 11

Office Politics: 31 Survival Strategies

As Wall Street goes up, so does the pressure by your boss to produce more with less staffing. You cannot wage a winning battle over a successful corporate strategy that is increasing the company's revenue. Producing more with less is a winner for most corporations because it differentiates a money-maker from a money-loser. Do not be surprised if you are hired to do one person's job and it later turns out to be two or three persons' jobs. It is a sign of the times - swallow hard, do your best and move on. But, please do not crash into depression!

These 31 guidelines for dealing with office politics are written for both managers and regular employees to reduce job stress based on the way people react to situations. The chapter also discusses how to deal with job interpersonal relationships that can sometimes be the source of a system breakdown and tragic errors. One of the objectives of this chapter is to teach non-stressful ways to react to stress provoking situations before job problems force people to lose control or make mistakes. From observation of lab workers over the years, increase in job stress tend to increase the rate of errors. 

Chapter 12

A Day in the Life of a Medical Technologist

Experience what it takes to survive in a rapid response clinical laboratory as medical technologists struggle with increased demand to do more with less staffing.

Chapter 13

A Day in the Life of a Nurse

Spend a day with a nurse and learn how to survive in the midst of many distractions, job stress and the need to keep all patients alive for an eight-hour work shift. This chapter defines every day challenges faced by nurses and also exposes the impact of job stress on the personal life of a nurse.

Chapter 14

How to be an Effective Manager

The chapter discusses the guidelines on how to become an effective manager. Good managers are not born by nature but created after learning from experiences and learning from other's mistakes. The most painful mistakes always teach good lessons. An effective manager is like a politician or a sales person who learns to communicate well, learns to negotiate with others, and has a good listening skill. He must also acquire leadership ability, retain a state of emotional balance, a good sense of humor and a desire for adventure.

Chapter 15

Stress, Serotonin and Migraine Headaches - Managers Beware!

Previous chapters deal with systemic problems within health care systems and how such situations have diminished the quality of care and in some situations lead to patient deaths. We accuse "systemic problems" as a way to prevent us from blaming other people. But the system is created by people. This chapter discusses the neuro-chemistry,  neuro-pharmacology  and the pathogenesis of stress as it affects human performance. The chapter also discusses the role of excessive stress and serotonin play in the onset of migraine headache and depression --- the typical illness of workaholics. It gives stress-reducing guidelines so that stressful situations will not lead to wrong decisions causing patient harm.


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