Read it: “Crisis Management in Acute Care Settings”

In Human Factors, Patient Safety on September 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Crisis Management in Acute Care Settings by Pierre, Hofinger, and Buershaper (2008).

This is one of those books that I find so relevant I have read it several times and own the hardcover, the paperback and the Kindle version. I have referred to it numerous times in papers and conversations. It is a short book at 227 pages but every page is filled with amazing material.

The preface to the book begins with the quote “All of life is problem solving” (Popper). Since they say it better than I, here are excerpts from the authors’ words describing what this book is about:
On a regular basis, healthcare professionals are faced with problems that are sudden, unexpected and pose a threat to a patient’s life. Worse still, these problems do not leave much time for… in-depth reflection but instead demand thoughtful action despite the need for swift decisions…The capacity to master these..requires more than profound medical knowledge and clinical expertise….at the same time all healthcare providers suffer from inescapable cognitive limitations that contribute to errors and hinder successful crisis management…Humans think and act the way they do because the underlying psychological mechanisms provide an efficient approach to cope with environmental demands…errors are not the product of an irrational or deficient psychological mechanism but originate from useful processes as well…errors in heathcare are not random events…they are rooted in systemic causes which are deeply embedded in the architecture of heathcare organizations and are ammenable to change…the human factors are the individual, team and organizational factors that influence our decisions and actions… (p. V.).

Each chapter begins with a case study. Then the relevant human factors are discussed as well their application into practice to improve safety. There is a Tips for Daily Practice section and a concise summary of the material at the end of each chapter.

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