26 June 2012

Here's a Great Idea... First Do Less Harm :: Suzanne Gordon on WSR

Suzanne Gordon
 Suzanne Gordon,  co-editor of,  First Do Less Harm: confronting the inconvenient truth of patient safety, visits Woman-Stirred Radio, this Thursday, July 29th, at 5:00 PM (eastern).

Do doctors and nurses always wash their hands between patients? Is it reasonable to suggest that the patient is responsible for confronting nurses and doctors who don't wash their hands? What's the problem with those hot ties and cool lab coats doctors like to wear?  With the incorporation of computers into hospital infrastructure, how are records incomplete, fragmented, and essential patient information lost? Why, in spite of all the magnificent advances made in medicine, do patients still needlessly suffer and die from preventable infections?

In First Do Less Harm, twelve professionals and researchers plus two former patients explore the pitfalls of patient safety that plague American hospitals and clinics and account for thousands of deaths. The diversity of the contributors reflects the diversity of the issues and solutions discussed, and while, from a variety of perspectives many practices are inadequate and impractical, the solutions can be deceptively simple.

The contributors in First Do Less Harm focus on topics such as sleep deprivation in professional staff, medication errors, the out-sourcing of cleaning staff and janitorial services, the unforeseen or poor coordination in the use of electronic medical records (EMR), and the exclusion of frontline staff from important and increasingly essential meetings on patient safety.

"Despite a decade of effort to decrease medical mistakes, progress has been carefully slow, and unintended consequences have been the rule not the exception. Two of the most innovative, iconoclastic thinkers in health care---Ross Koppel and Suzanne Gordon---have produced this collection that tells us why and illuminates the way forward. The book is dramatic, honest, infuriating, surprising, and ultimately hopeful. It is a welcome contribution to the safety field and deserves to be widely read" (Dr. Robert M. Wagner, UCSF).

Suzanne Gordon is currently Visiting Professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, and was program leader of the Robert Wood Johnson--funded Nurse Manager in Action Program. Gordon is the author of Life Support and Nursing against the Odds, co-author of Safety in Numbers, and From Silence to Voice, She is also editor of When Chicken Soup is Not Enough, and coeditor of The Complexities of Care, all of which are published by the Cornell University Press.

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