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This past weekend I had the pleasure of speaking at Missouri Baptist in St. Louis, as part of their perioperative services symposium with the theme of creating a safety culture to ensure clinical excellence. I enjoyed with meeting with all kinds of folks, from the nursing staff to the central supply and sterile processing units, to surgeons and anesthesiologists, and the C-level executives of the hospital. Like many hospitals, they struggle to find the right balance between safety initiatives and the stress of meeting financial targets so they can stay in business and care for patients. Is “quality improvement” a trojan horse for simple cost-cutting? Are quality and safety the same thing? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Certainly, some safety measures cost money and do not immediately demonstrate benefit, as they are latent conditions that function as safety nets. Lean Six Sigma principles must seek out waste to eliminate, but not eliminate safety measures. Feedback from the symposium was terrific, which was my reward for investing a sunny weekend inside a lecture hall with strangers. As a passionate fan of human factors and human beings, it truly was a reward. I was inspired to see so many members of the hospital team invest in themselves and each other on da Of course, it didn’t hurt that about 20 folks from the diverse groups listed above spent Friday night with me at the ballpark, which is perhaps where I learned the most about the culture of the people who make up the perioperative services team. Thank you for having me, MoBap. Keep in touch.


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