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Health Care Leaders Gather to Gain New Safety, Risk Management Insights From Aviation Industry Experts
Date:6/2/2008

LANSING, Mich., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- As health care organizations continue to wrestle with better ways to improve patient safety and communications, they are finding inspiration from the skies - the aviation industry.

While patient care and airlines may seem worlds apart, aviation industry techniques in health care was the focus of a recent national risk management and patient safety conference hosted by The Risk Management and Patient Safety Institute (RM&PSI).

The April conference, titled On the Wings to Patient Safety: Innovative Solutions and Tools, featured two days of seminars hosted by experts in both aviation and health care.

"Aviation has a lot it can teach the health care risk management and patient safety community," said Karol Wareck, group vice president of The RM&PSI. "Health care has grown extremely fast in the last 50 years in terms of technology, access and information - but safety has not always kept pace with the growth. We know the experience of aviation offers some important parallels and critical lessons in terms of what they have done to reduce risk during their own exponential growth."

As commercial aviation was getting off the ground and into the mainstream in the 1950s, health care delivery was relatively low-tech. Other than penicillin and a handful of other medicines and herbal supplements, there were very few manufactured pharmaceuticals. There were also very few clinical specialists, limited surgical options and no pure health insurance companies.

At the same time, aviation was booming. As the number of passengers and planes in the skies grew, safety became a driving force behind innovation and process change. As a result, commercial flight is one of the safest modes of transportation today.

Wareck points to a number of key variables affecting medicine and patient safety today that didn't exist decades ago, including: increased specialization among physicians; the proliferation of medic
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SOURCE FinCor Holdings Inc.
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