Sunday, April 15, 2012

Forgiveness, Trust and a Culture of Quality

In this video presentation, Paul F. Levy, recent CEO for the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, makes a case for forgiveness in the culture of a medical institution striving for quality care. I suppose that to somehow punish a physician or other care provider for a serious mistake may be safe behavior for an administrator. People tend to admire active administrators who can make decisive decisions. But the quality of the services provided by a caregiver is more evident in the pattern of his or her work than in the exception. Physicians tend not to identify the mistakes and near-misses of others, realizing that they each are imperfect and may someday make a mistake. A culture of punishment does not promote a culture of trust, which is necessary to create continual learning and improvement.

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