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IHI Forum Reflections: 10 'Aha' Moments

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2010

As attendees readied to return home, I stood in the hallways and randomly asked attendees—nearly all who responded were doctors and hospital officials—for their "Aha!" moments. I asked them to tell me, specifically, what excited them the most about what they heard, from a practical standpoint, and what they would try to change first when they returned home.

Here's what they said:

1. Steven Linn, MD, chief medical officer, 429-bed South Jersey Healthcare.

"I'm going to spend as much time as I can with as many patients as I can in the morning. And the other thing I'm going to do is bring all my clothes into the hospital and stay for a week, to see what really goes on in the hospital. I'll stay in the call rooms and roam the halls."

Linn says that's something he had previously considered, but was inspired by forum keynote speaker, Cory Booker, now Newark mayor. Booker described how as city councilman a decade ago, he went on a 10-day fast and slept in a tent outside a housing project to protest drug deals and violence that police wouldn't stop. Booker says he was told by an elderly woman that he "had to do somethin'," so he did. "I listened to his passion and will, and I made a commitment to do somethin.' Kinda like Cory Booker's fast," Linn said.

2. Marvin Rice, MD, head of safety at 329-bed Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier, CA. 

"I was impressed by the presentation about making sure that board meetings start with stories about individual patient's care. And that 50% of them have to be negative stories. Sure we're worried about finances, and we have a lot of underinsured patients.  But we're a healthcare organization for heaven's sake. One of our board members is here and I'm going to make sure he knows about this."

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1 comments on "IHI Forum Reflections: 10 'Aha' Moments"


Cathy Jaynes, RN, PhD (12/20/2010 at 12:27 PM)
Loved the "aha" moment that describes the need to share personal stories with members of the hospital board. Have been working for the last couple of years on a project to collect stories in a digital format to teach quality and safety to my students as well as my colleagues in the air medical transport industry. Starting a bank of them and also using the stories at the Patient Voices website in the UK. They are powerful!