Opening the Door to Patient Safety

The interview from last year resonates with me as a whirlwind of emotions, weaving together moments of insight, humour, challenges, and risks. Looking back, it was like the bold act of an unsuspecting child knocking on the door of an ogre’s castle. The slumbering giant wakes up and consumes the audacious child, yet in doing so, the once seemingly impenetrable castle door swings open. Facing the giants of bureaucracy and politics may have come at a personal cost, but the subsequent influx of much-needed investment and oversight into my organisation honours the purpose behind it all.

So, what lies ahead in this continuing journey? With the shift from a clinical role to a managerial position no longer necessary, I find myself free to refocus on the core purpose that brought me here: compassion as the foundation of patient care and safety. Exploring how cultivating collective mindfulness can inspire organisational compassion and pave a new way forward …

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WPW – Beginning Anew 2021

The graph says it all. As the third wave of Covid hit Ireland, it was all hands on deck. Projects had to take a back seat.

Now as we move through the Spring Equinox, it feels like the time has come to get back on the horse. People and projects have had a bit of time to mature and adapt to a new healthcare world of long term Covid. The tracking system I mentioned in my last post is in place. And I see at least a few green shoots of renewed interest amongst our registrars and some managers to improve ED-hospital systems (beyond Covid).

The unsaid risk however – the proverbial elephant in the room – is recognising the huge toll Covid has taken on healthcare staff who were already over stretched – even before the pandemic hit. An Emergency Department nurse from a near by county provides an unfortunately accurate first person account – that resonates across hospitals all over Ireland.

A delicate journey lies ahead. What Joan Halifax describes as an edge state – where the “five virtuous human qualities” of “altruism, empathy, integrity, respect and engagement” can either lead us to courage and freedom – or slide into a mire of destructive suffering …