Lessons for health care from aviation
Interesting article in today's Washington Post about the 1982 Air Florida crash into the 14th Street bridge over the Potomac and its legacy, focusing on the lack of communication among crew members and subsequent reforms to aviation training.
Though some of the lessons may seem simple, such as communication and management skills, it helped break down an authoritarian cockpit culture dominated by captains. Over time, the principles learned from the disaster gradually migrated to other modes of transportation and into businesses, even hospitals."Even hospitals." Really? If this ethos of safety has moved into operating rooms, as described by the author, I'd like to know how widespread it really is; it also needs to go way beyond the surgical arena.
The story makes me wonder, or more accurately dread, what kind of equivalent event it will take to shake the foundations of the health care industry and bring safety to a similar level of concern. The body count in health care is a lot higher than that in aviation, but perhaps because incidents are so spread out, they just don't strike us in aggregate as catastrophic in the same way that plane crashes do.