Healthcare Safety Consulting

In virtually all endeavors, human factors account for over 85% of all adverse outcomes.  Blue Hawk’s experienced system safety experts can help our clients understand and collaboratively address how and where human error reduces safety, quality and performance.

Example:  Adverse medical outcomes due to preventable human error

  • To Err is Human, placed the number of deaths from preventable medical error as high as 98,000, making it the 8th leading cause of death in the U.S., before motor vehicles, breast cancer and AIDS.
  • To Err is Human estimated the increased cost to hospitals of preventable adverse drug events to be approximately $2 billion in the US, or approximately $2.8 million for a 700 bed teaching hospital.
  • In 2010 The Society of Actuaries Health Section narrowly focused study: Economic Measurement of Medical Errors put the direct cost to the U. S. economy of reported preventable medical (human) error at over $19 billion in additional in/outpatient, prescription drug and short term disability claims alone.
  • The Midwest Business Group on Health attributed $780 billion (30%) of the $2.6 trillion spent on health care in the US to “poor quality care”, defined as “overuse, misuse and waste”.
  • World class manufacturing systems have error rates of below 230 defects per million opportunities.  Medicine currently experiences error rates of between 6,000 and 300,000 defects per million opportunities.

High reliability organizations: Mindset and safety culture

High reliability organizations are those that are inherently and fundamentally dangerous, yet errors are successfully and continuously managed to an extremely low level via culture, system design and management.  Naval aviation is the leading example of an enterprise that has successfully developed and implemented a culture of safety which has actively driven a 99% reduction in its catastrophic mishap (accident) rate since 1950.  Other examples of high reliability organizations with successful system safety cultures are:

  • Nuclear energy
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Oil exploration and production operations (Recently introduced)

The System Safety discipline recognizes that humans will err and while “we cannot change the human condition, we can change the conditions under which humans work”.

Please contact Blue Hawk Aviation to learn how we can help your organization:

  • Limit the incidences of errors through
    • Standardization
    • Brief, debrief and lessons learned
    • Training and education
    • Recognizing human factors issues
  • Trap Errors via
    • Physical design
    • Teamwork
    • Standardization
    • Redundancy
    • Human Factors Engineering
    • Audits
    • Cultural surveys and workshops
    • Appropriate technology
  • Contain Damage
    • Prepare for the worst
    • Immediate action/response procedures and protocols
    • Teamwork