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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


NOTES

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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  • utopianhealthcare

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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The covid-19 Pandemic has remained a part of our daily living since it surfaced sometimes in March 2020. With the new wave presently ravaging the world the need to priorities our safety has become very expedient.

Protect yourself and others around you by knowing the facts and taking appropriate precautions. Follow advice provided by your local health authority.


To prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.

  • Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

  • Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.

  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

  • Stay home if you feel unwell.

  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.

Calling in advance allows your healthcare provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This protects you, and prevents the spread of viruses and other infections.

Note: Masks

Masks can help prevent the spread of the virus from the person wearing the mask to others. Masks alone do not protect against COVID-19, and should be combined with physical distancing and hand hygiene. Follow the advice provided by your local health authority.

source: WHO

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