July 26, 2021 | | Comments 1
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Maybe this time we should do things a little differently…

This may be a “me” thing, but it seems to me that I’ve seen a lot of annual evaluations recently that only minimally make note of organizational response to the pandemic. I know there are no “rules” about the contents of the annual evaluation and it seems unlikely (unless you have a very high-powered crystal ball) that response to a pandemic would have been a key point in identifying goals for 2020 (though I suppose if you’re using the fiscal year as your calendar and you had a starting point in the middle of 2020). Clearly, consideration of things relating to pandemics and emerging infectious diseases is going to be front and center for the foreseeable future (for good or ill), but I still have this (perhaps unreasoning) fear that we’re going to lose a ton of “good stuff” as we come out the other side of the current emergency.

And that “good stuff” that might be lost are the missteps that periodically intruded upon the response protocols that were, to a fair degree, made up on the fly. Innovation was definitely the overarching result, and there were certainly great successes, but there had to be some stuff that didn’t work. It seems I continue to hear about setting up tents, taking tents down, setting them up again, and on and on…

So my thought is: Go back to all those hotwashes and AARs that were written in the heat of battle and see if there were any items that really didn’t make the grade—and memorialize ’em! My sincere hope is that the learned lessons won’t have a practical application any time soon, but the reports of a resurgence of hospitalizations make me think that we’re not quite done with this sucker.

Stay tuned…

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Steve MacArthur About the Author: Steve MacArthur is a safety consultant with The Greeley Company in Danvers, Mass. He brings more than 30 years of healthcare management and consulting experience to his work with hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities across the country. He is the author of HCPro's Hospital Safety Director's Handbook and is contributing editor for Briefings on Hospital Safety. Contact Steve at stevemacsafetyspace@gmail.com.

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  1. Hi Mac,
    I just wanted to tell you how much I like your column and writing style. The pandemic has managed to push us to the very brink… and yet the virus does not care.
    I wish you and yours a safe rest of your summer and thank you for the work you do!

    Sincerely,
    Ellen Guerin
    OSHA Safety Officer
    Community Care Physicians

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