glendon farrowMB.BS (Hons) mba fracs maicd raamc
This book is written for those of you on the frontline of healthcare. Nurses, doctors, allied health professionals who practise at the bedside in wards, emergency departments and intensive care units across the country.
It’s particularly aimed at new “recruits” who are starting out in their career and need to have critical information available to them in order to be safe. There is no time for you to gain experience, but experience is what you need to make safe and sensible decisions.
This book is about
• individual strategies, and not about safety systems
• responsibility, and not about blame.
Each chapter has a simple heading, focusing on a simple strategy to remember. I’ve used stories from both my clinical work, and from my work as a doctor with the ADF, and especially from military parachuting. The military is my lived experience, but there are plenty of other industries out there that are required to be highly reliable; aviation, nuclear power, mining and oil drilling to name a few. There are many lessons to be learnt from these industries that are applicable to healthcare.
I’ve included where and when I’ve learnt the hard way, and how a practical common-sense approach to clinical care can reduce risk. When I started in medicine as an intern in 1984, our guidance was based on bitter clinical experience. Today that experience is backed by solid data, and in an evidence-based world we must take action.
- Have a clear mission
- Sit down, be humble
- Check your equipment
- Have a collision drill
- Common things are commonest
- Changing signs means changing pathology
- The GP is always right, until proven otherwise
- Time spent on communication is seldom wasted
- The clock is always ticking
- What must I not miss!
- Don’t touch the monitor
- Trust but verify
- First things first
- Stay on the pathway
- Beware the quiet child
- It’s always the operation, until proven otherwise
- Accept the landing
- Bad news doesn’t get better with time
- Beware the difficult parent or patient
- Treat your patient like family
Bringing it all together
Characteristics of highly reliable organisations include preoccupation with failure and deference to expertise. These should be your individual characteristics as well. Always ask what could go wrong? What am I missing? And who may be able to help? By taking sensible steps you can keep yourself and your patient safe.
The free download provides more information about these strategies. I hope you enjoy the book and find it useful in your everyday work.
Praise & Reviews
“Dr. Farrow has written the essential handbook of patient safety books. As a surgeon and medical administrator, he draws on his own rich experiences to highlight the 20 key strategies to prevent adverse outcomes. I warmly recommend ‘Frontline Patient Safety’ to all health professionals.”
— Jeffrey V Rosenfeld AC, OBE, KStJ, FAHMS, FTSE, FRACS,
FRCS(Edin), FACS. Senior Neurosurgeon, Alfred Hospital
and Professor of Surgery, Monash University
“Combining his military, surgical and leadership experience Glen has produced an essential guide on how to practice safely “at the pointy end” of patient care. While there have been system improvements in safety performance in recent years this book addresses the next challenge in keeping patients safe and asks “what can I do as a professional at the bedside while caring for my patient.”
— Daniel T Cass AM, FRACS
Senior Paediatric Surgeon, Children’s Hospital at Westmead
William Dunlop Professor of Paediatric Surgery,
University of Sydney