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Nonmagical Tools

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

James T. Lee
Affiliation:
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Minneapolis, St. Paul, Minnesota

Extract

At a recent luncheon meeting hosted by the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, a speaker preceding me at the podium began his performance by reminding audience members of the quality improvement jingle, “all of us together are smarter than any one of us alone.” This may be a major rallying slogan for quality improvers now busy at just about every hospital. Awaiting my turn in the proceedings, I found myself remembering Charles Mackay's famous warning1 that “… men think in herds and it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” Whether agreeing to join local quality improvement sorties or choosing to say “thanks, but I'm already on too many committees,” each of us must individually recover our senses about the atmosphere in which evidence is being marshaled and massaged by earnest quality improvers choosing their “action opportunities.” There is no shortage of raw material, and surgical care continues to be a popular target.

Type
Issues in Surgery
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2003

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References

1.Mackay, C. Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, 2nd ed. London: Office of the Illustrated Library; 1852.Google Scholar
3.Nelson, EC, Mohr, JJ, Batalden, PB, Plume, SK. Improving health care: Part 1. The clinical value compass. Jt Comm J Qual Improv 1996;22:243258.Google ScholarPubMed
4.Schein, M, Marshall, JC, eds. Source Control: A Guide to the Management of Surgical Infections. New York: Springer-Verlag; 2002.Google ScholarPubMed
5.Lee, JT, Olson, MM. Wound infection surveillance for 85,260 consecutive operations. Journal of Surgical Outcomes 1999;2:2742.Google Scholar
6.Forse, RA, Karam, B, MacLean, LD, Christou, NV. Antibiotic prophylaxis for surgery in morbidly obese patients. Surgery 1989;106:750756.Google ScholarPubMed
7.Lee, JT. Wound infection surveillance. Infect Dis Clin North Am 1992;6:643656.Google ScholarPubMed
8.Lee, JT. Wound infections: surveillance for quality improvement. In: Fry, D, ed. Surgical Infections. Chicago: Little-Brown; 1995.Google Scholar

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