Monday, October 3, 2011

The Nine Skills You Need to Make Your Organization More Reliable

Craig Clapper advises his students to think of reliability as the platform for better patient care.

“Reliability is the one thing that affects quality, safety and satisfaction well,” he said. “By investing heavily in one thing, you can get three good families of outcomes.”

Clapper is a founding partner and chief operating officer of Healthcare Performance Improvement (HPI), a consulting firm that specializes in improving human performances in complex systems. He also teaches High Reliability 2.0 for ACPE.

The course is intended as follow-up to another ACPE course taught by Clapper, The Science of High Reliability. The introductory course lays a foundation, then High Reliability 2.0 gives participants the tools to take real-world solutions back to their organizations.

High Reliability 2.0 is being offered at ACPE’s Fall Institute, November 8-9, at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ. For those who need to take The Science of High Reliability, it can be completed through ACPE's distance-learning program, InterAct Express.

The idea for High Reliability 2.0 grew out of a desire to offer more advanced courses through ACPE.

“We want them to be implementers, instead of just knowing what to implement,” Clapper said.

Participants come away with nine practical skills:
  1. Choosing appropriate reliability behaviors using aggregating analysis of harm events
  2. Implementing both a leader and a physician reliability bundle
  3. Building collaborative interactive teams (CITs)
  4. Simplifying protocols by using human factors for written guidance documents
  5. Error-proofing an environment of care
  6. Increasing the reliability of checks and verification
  7. Using cause analysis methodology in peer review
  8. Quantifying the reliability of a time-out using probabilistic safety assessment (PSA)
  9. Using reverse tracer methodology to measure process reliability
While all the skills are necessary for creating a culture of reliability, Clapper said the ability to focus and simplify written documents is among the most valuable.

“You learn how to take a 38-page moderate sedation protocol and distill it down into a two-page work-flow sheet that the users can really benefit from,” he said.

There isn’t much lecturing in the class. Most of the two-day course is spent working together on developing solutions to common problems. For example, all participants are expected to bring along their counting protocol for instruments and sponges in the main OR so the class can discuss how to make checks work.

Clapper said checks don’t always prevent mistakes from occurring.

“We look at the technology,” Clapper said. “We discuss how people perform checks and verifications to design them correctly and know when not to use them.”

Click here and register today for ACPE’s 2011 Fall Institute.

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