@MI2Innovation Making Healthcare Safety Contagious

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On October 16th, Allan Fong MS, Raj Ratwani PhD and Sarah Henrickson Parker PhD from the MedStar Health Institute for Innovation Human Factors Engineering group will travel to New York City as one of eight teams selected from over 250 entrants who submitted healthcare innovation projects to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Pioneer Project. The team’s project, entitled Creating a Social Epidemic of Safety, aims to harness the power of natural social networks within healthcare organizations to identify those who can influence an epidemic of safety. In their words:

In healthcare, we try change culture through training, meetings and seminars on how to be safe. But we are convinced that at the sharp end of care, where the rubber meets the road,  it’s actually relationships, not lectures or signs on the wall that influence people’s actions.  Previous research in the social sciences has shown time and again how difficult it is to change human behavior; but it has also shown that if people are going to change their behavior, it’s because of the power of social influence…By utilizing technological advances in sociometric measurement and analysis to identify and target social influencers within a healthcare system, we will use their influence to improve safety.

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