• utopianhealthcare

Quality and patient safety blog

Tell me about your symptoms, not your diagnosis.Your words, gestures, and information you provide are the guiding principles for an accurate and timely diagnosis.

"Hello Doctor, I'm suffering from pneumonia.

" Meanwhile, the patient has nasal congestion.

Did you know that pneumonia is a lung infection that causes coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing?

My body is torturing me in some way." "My body no longer exists." "I'm just a ghost." "I'm done." Click below to download PDF

UHC Newsletter-1
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Apologies can blind potential improvement opportunities

Chika Odioemene

Apologies are designed to express immense regret of unintended action or consequence. Apologies are also used as a method of accepting accountability for an undesired outcome. But are They always useful in the workplace? The next time you hear one of your team members say "Iam so sorry, it will never happen again". You should immediately cringe.

Here is why

In a hierarchical environment, the most commonly used panacea for improvement opportunities is apology.

The truth behind the apologies are: Fear: fear of being blamed, humiliated, beilittled and even scolded.

Discomfort: improvement opportunities are inherently accompanied with discomfort and unnerving circumstances. Apologies are often offered out of eagerness to interrupt these unpleasant emotions.

Denial: those who accept quick apologies and those who offer quick apologies share the common need to distance themselves from t he current failure mode.

Can one really prevent an incident from happening again without deliberate

systematic review and corrective action?

At Utopian Healthcare, the culture of refraining from immediate apologies was initially paralyzing. Today, this practice has emancipated a culture of reflection

First, incidents are viewed and embraced as learning and improvement opportunities.

Second, there is a deliberate evaluation on the structure, process that led to the undesired outcome. At times, it turned out that I the CEO and Chika Odioemene Founder was a major contributor to the outcome.

Third, empower your teams to be solution-oriented. Imagine an apology riddled with the root cause analysis and action


Embrace every incident and milk it of all the lessons it has to offer! If we must accept apologies, accept only those with honest review of structure, process, and outcome. When possible, also accept apologies with potential solutions only after a thorough evaluation of the problem

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By Chika Odioemene

A loving son sent a text to me saying, “Mrs. Chika, good evening. Thank you so much for reaching out. I appreciate it. Me and my family have been really trying hard to help with my dad’s recovery. Now he needs physical and speech therapy. We are unable to find a speech therapist in Nigeria. My younger brother sent me a video of them feeding him, and I wanted to get your feedback.”

I watched a video of a young-looking man, likely in his late 50s to early 60s, sitting up at the end of his bed. He had an IV catheter on his left hand. It was apparent by the way he held the cup he drank out of that he was using his non-dominant hand. His presentation was a classic presentation of Left Middle Cerebral Artery (LMCA) stroke: right arm paralysis, drooling his sips of drinks, and speech disturbances.

Two weeks later, I received another text from his son: “My dad passed away Sunday night. We kept begging the doctor to put him on a ventilator, because I saw a video indicating that he was in severe respiratory distress. However, when the ventilator finally arrived, it wasn’t working properly. So, we paid for an ambulance to take him to a different hospital, but the ambulance didn’t make it on time.”

It wasn’t the stroke that killed him. Given his presentation on his last day, he likely died from aspiration pneumonia, a known and preventable complication of stroke, often mitigated with speech evaluation and therapy.

Stroke is a global burden and a leading cause of disability and functional dependency in most industrialized nations, with 5.5 million deaths attributable to stroke in 2016. In Africa, stroke has been established as a leading cause of death among non- communicable diseases, though the incidence and prevalence are not well documented in Nigeria or Africa as a whole.

This chart illustrates an example of the difference between the care available in stroke programs in developed nations and some low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Read more..

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