Is HPI just a safety initiative?  Can you give me an example of it being used in a different industry?

Back in December of last year there was an episode of the Ted Radio Hour on NPR that talked about Transparency.  In that episode they interviewed Leilani Schweitzer about her experiences working for Stanford University Hospital.  This is a great 13 minute clip to listen to:


“It would have been easy for the university hospital administrators to blame the nurse, fire her and assume the problem had been solved because the bad apple was gone. It would have been typical deny-and-defend behavior for them to ignore my questions, to go silent and hope I couldn’t gather my thoughts enough to file a lawsuit. It would have been a safe bet. But they didn’t do that. They didn’t prey on my vulnerability. Instead, they investigated. They explained, took responsibility and apologized. It made all of the difference. After the university hospital investigated Gabriel’s death and the weakness in the monitors was discovered, all other hospitals using the same equipment were alerted to the vulnerability. “

Many times we are asked if Human Performance Improvement (HPI) is just a safety initiative. This is more than just safety.  It can be applied to all departments in all industries. We have not trained staff at the Stanford University Hospital, but just listening to Leilani’s story you can get a glimpse of what can be accomplished when organizations change their perspectives on how they should approach situations where an error has occurred.

How many of you have experienced a situation like this with a loved one in the hospital?  What do you think about Leilani’s job?  We are interested in your thoughts and reactions to this.