The authors of this chapter have worked in emergency care in 5 countries on 4 continents in the past 9 years. In their experience, acute care anywhere in the world shares two main features; strong teamwork and tremendous mental, physical, and psychological stress. The significant workload, both on individual and team levels, render the care system vulnerable to human errors, which can unfortunately be detrimental to patients and staff alike. Due to the commonalities it is not surprising that health care professionals tend to make similar mistakes irrespective of economic, cultural, religious aspect or healthcare settings. We opine that mistakes are not necessarily and exclusively bad things, but invaluable opportunities for improvement. In this chapter, the authors aim to introduce the concept of learning from errors to the readers. Numerous studies and books have already been published on the subject, so anyone could rightfully ask, why read another study? The answer is straightforward, unlike other articles, this chapter invites the reader to work together with the authors through a real-world case. The text will guide the reader through the topic painlessly in a step-by-step fashion offering plenty of opportunity to practice and reflect on the newly acquired knowledge. Global healthcare is facing significant changes these days. Learning from errors may be the initial step to help move away from the blame and shame culture and build a new system which should be based on solid partnership and respect between patients and carers. Such a new, supportive and compassionate system could provide higher quality care and at the same time, protect practitioners from burnout and stress ensuring that healthcare jobs are not only work but a life-long fulfilling career.
Part of the book: Teamwork in Healthcare