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Superheroes to Supersystems

Rahul Shah, MD, MBA

Cotton-Fitted Endowed Lecture in Pediatric Otolaryngology
10:00 am, Today
New Orleans Theater B

Rahul Shah, MD, MBA, Vice President and Chief Quality and Safety Officer at Children’s National Hospital, knows that medical professionals are superheroes. But when it comes to quality and safety, that really only goes so far.

“Everybody is working in a superhero capacity,” Dr. Shah said. “But that’s only scalable to a certain extent. To drive real change, sustained outcomes, and higher levels of reliability, we have to achieve it on a systemic level.”

Dr. Shah will advise otolaryngologists how to drive change during his talk for the Cotton-Fitton Endowed Lecture in Pediatric Otolaryngology, titled “Quality and Safety: The Next Iteration.” He plans to discuss the five high-reliability principles outlined in the book “Managing the Unexpected” by Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe:

  • Preoccupation with failure
  • Sensitivity to operations
  • Reluctance to simplify interpretations
  • Commitment to resilience
  • Deference to expertise

The book explores why some organizations are more capable than others at managing the unexpected and maintaining structure. Dr. Shah said it has become the authority on safety quality improvement. The organizations it covers, he said, are highly vulnerable and handle more than their fair share of catastrophic events.

“They should be going up in smoke every day, but they are able to mitigate risk,” he said. “We’re going to talk about the principles that do that. Ultimately, it’s about developing mindfulness that helps you sustain your system’s thinking.”

Attendees will leave Dr. Shah’s presentation with tangible ways to put Weick and Sutcliffe’s principles into play in their own otolaryngology