Browse by Medical Category
Monday, March 20, 2017
James Bagian, MD, PE, professor of Engineering Practice and Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan College of Engineering, was honored as this year’s Safety Scholar at the start of the 8th annual Patient Safety Awareness Week (PSAW) at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) from March 12-18. During Grand Rounds on March 14, Bagian, a former astronaut, presented his talk, “Patient Safety – It’s Not Rocket Science,” which provided insights on the meaning of patient safety and how cultural changes matter most when making hospitals safer for patients.
“Safety is about culture, not compliance. People naturally want to do what’s best for patients, so you have to identify what barriers are in place that keep them from doing so,” said Bagian. “It’s about ‘What does the patient want?’ Patients want to be safe and cared for. Then it becomes about ‘How do we get there?’ It’s about goals… which is to prevent inadvertent harm to patients while under our care.”
Changes to patient care to ensure a safe environment are most effective when they are made from a systems-wide approach, said Bagian. Focusing on fixing vulnerabilities within a system, rather than placing blame on an individual or team, leads to a safer hospital environment.
“Safety is not about who is culpable. Blame has no place in medicine if you want to make hospitals as safe as possible,” said Bagian. “Safety is about learning more about what happened and how to prevent events from occurring in the future.” He emphasized that safety is everyone’s responsibility, from nurse and doctors to administrative staff.
Bagian served as the Chief Patient Safety Officer and is the founding director of the National Center for Patient Safety in the VA Hospital system and the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety. He is a member of the following organizations: National Academy of Engineering; National Academy of Medicine; the Department of Defense Health Board and Trauma and Injury Subcommittee; and the NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Board. He is a former NASA astronaut and has completed two shuttle missions. Bagian also investigated safety issues related to the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters.
Other PSAW events included the following events:
Back to Top