Pressing for better quality across healthcare

By Noam N. Levey

Dr. Donald Berwick On Better Health Care SystemReporting from Atlanta—

The cardiac intensive care unit at Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta gleams and hums with a dazzling array of scientific wonders that breathe for tiny lungs and monitor every beat of an infant heart.

But on a recent visit, Dr. Donald Berwick was especially pleased by something decidedly low-tech: a quiet zone where nurses can place medication orders without being interrupted, even during emergencies.

Hospital leaders created the zone — little more than a computer terminal in a corner of the room behind an orange sign on the floor that reads “Shh … We’re in the MedZone” — two years ago after noticing that distracted staff members were making dangerous mistakes when ordering medicine.

The deceptively simple system, built on a principle used in aviation, cut medication errors by two-thirds, saving money and lives.

Full story at Los Angeles Times

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Will Savage

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