Civility can save lives

Alessandra Glover Williams

Aless Glover Williams, Neonatal GRID Trainee ST7, St Michael’s Neonatal Unit and Neonatal QI Fellow supporting the PERIPrem Project on how knowing your team will help ensure Patient Safety.

On World Patient Safety Day, especially as this year highlights ‘Health Worker Safety’, I’m reflecting on the importance of knowing and valuing the individual members of the teams I work with.

Nearly everything we do as doctors centres around Patient Safety. It is in the morning safety brief, the staffing, the clinical decision making, the team-management, the drug checks, the Matching Michigan or WHO checklists, the governance and the documentation. Patient Safety underpins every outcome that we strive to achieve for our patients and awareness of how to make a difference as a professional is essential for every member of the team.

Quality improvement is but one string to this bow as it can not only directly but also indirectly effect change. Through building strong multi-disciplinary relationships and trust we will work better as teams, avoid a blame culture and avoid incivility, which is well-recognised to impact personal performance and functioning for the rest of the day all from a single interaction.

The PERIPrem Project which I’m proud to be a part of has built an amazing, supportive team culture despite being largely put together in the virtual world we now spend so much more time in. I have some close valued colleagues I’ve not met face to face, but that hasn’t stopped us building a fabulous team culture. My colleague Noshin does a fantastic job of describing it here.

So on this World Patient Safety Day take some time to really get to know your team; what is going on in their lives that might effect their functioning? Care for each other, look after each other, look after yourself, take breaks, value sleep and after prioritising kindness to ourselves we will find that we have space to care for others and embark upon new projects. #Civilitysaveslives

Posted on September 17, 2020 by Aless Glover Williams, Neonatal QI Fellow supporting the PERIPrem Project

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