New human performance training program enhances patient safety

Photograph of Drew McCarthy
October 19, 2018

East Metropolitan Health Service (EMHS) continues to focus on delivering consistent, high quality care, and as part of this, a dedicated team has been carefully adapting and developing aviation-related safety concepts over the past 18 months. The training compliments the technical expertise required in a complex healthcare environment.

The result is the NEXUS Human Performance Training Program.

The primary focus of this training is to enhance patient safety by minimising human error while promoting teamwork, developing efficiencies and improving workplace satisfaction in all areas of health service operations.

EMHS Medical Intern Dr Drew McCarthy recently completed the NEXUS Human Performance training in May 2018 and explains how it has helped him identify ways to improve his clinical practice by minimising error. In addition it helped develop his communication and teamwork skills leading to improving the way he works with clinical, corporate and patient support personnel across the organisation.

“At first I was motivated to attend due to the safety and error prevention ideas in the NEXUS course. When you start as a junior doctor you suddenly have a lot of responsibility and you feel a lot of pressure to not make mistakes that might end up harming patients. The course designed by people from a different industry who bring a new point of view which I think is refreshing,” Drew said.

“Some of the topics of NEXUS such as communication and teamwork are really useful for the whole team, not just the leaders. Having everyone on the same page would make it easier to bring some of the strategies from the course into everyday hospital work.”

“I now try my best to learn and use the names of my colleagues and communicate plans more clearly. I know the nursing staff appreciate a verbal update on patient plans rather than just a scribble in the patient’s notes that they may not see until the end of the day! Some of this seems straightforward, but knowing what you should do and actually having the motivation to do it are different things.”

“This course showed me that little changes matter. I realised I didn’t have to do anything special or smart to improve the safety of my everyday work. Instead I just need to change my focus to completing the everyday tasks with much more care,” he said.