Healthcare CommunicationMedical EducationSMACCMedical Error - Learning from mistakes

Medical Error – Learning from mistakes: Kevin Fong

The information we consume leads us to believe that failure isn’t an option.

Stories and movie depictions of characters who avoid the odds at all costs, tell us that failure is unacceptable and should be avoided.

We expect elite performance and hyper competence. In medicine, where we are responsible for the lives of our patients, it is easy to understand why we set the bar high for ourselves and somewhat expect ourselves never to fail.

The reality is however, that this is all a myth. Any complex system you can observe from around the world has experienced failure.

In fact, the biggest lessons usually come from the biggest failures.

In healthcare, we work in the ultimate complex system, where nobody is hyper competent and failure will always occur. It is inevitable.

According to sociologist Diane Vaughan, “wherever science, technology and risk to human life coincide, failure is inevitable.”

The answer is in finding ways to appropriately deal with failure and to overcome these challenges. So, given that failure is inevitable, is there a better way to fail? How do we fail gracefully?

We need to learn to fail and understand that we do so out of a love for our profession. By savings lives and helping others. Our system needs to allow for failure to occur but also to ensure that we fail gracefully.

Kevin Fong shares a compelling talk on how to prepare to fail, how to expect failure and most importantly, how to forgive yourself for failing.

A talk that Kevin describes as “useful advice for failing at everything.”

From DAS SMACC, we hope you enjoy this podcast and we hope that it inspires you to embrace failure in a new light.

Medical Error – Learning from mistakes: Kevin Fong

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Kevin Fong