Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pocket Guide for Mindful Moments in Healthcare

Pocket Guide for Mindful Moments in Healthcare
Rick Gannotta

Paying attention mindfully with awareness to what is happening in the dynamic clinical (or personal) situation and setting you are in, for the changes that continue to unfold and evolve in patient care, with your team, and within yourself, in the “moment” may allow you to become more present for the patient and the task in front of you.

This may positively influence and improve clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Here are seven opportunities for mindful moments in healthcare delivery;
  • During patient report
  • While hand washing
  • During the physical exam
  • Medication administration
  • Site marking
  • During operative or procedural “time outs”
  • When your stressed, distracted and or feel overloaded

These three steps may assist in optimizing mindful attention;

1) Identify
       This is a high reliability situation
        I am called upon to perform a task, with the team or independently
2) Awareness (enhance)
            Ground yourself in the moment via cues;
                        Hand washing,
                        Touching the doorknob prior to entering the room,
                        Taking patients hand

            Breath & Breathing (one or two consciously)
            Bringing focus intentionally onto the 
            breath, observing without reacting

3) Mindful Attention (shift)
            Being “aware that you are aware” may improve focused attention
            and limit distraction

Some potential benefits and applications of mindful awareness in a high reliability organizations and situations* such as those found in healthcare delivery include;

Better recognition and management of your stress reactivity:
Mindful Breathing and “checking in” to how you are feeling frequently throughout the day.

The clinical environment its distractions and the context you are working in:
Mindful hand washing, mindful listening, and purposefully noticing your surroundings.

Bring mindful awareness & attention to your actions:
In high reliability situations such as dispensing medications, prepping and procedures, checking vital signs and instruments, taking and reading orders.

*High reliability Organizations:
A complex working environment that operates safely and reliably in the face of hazards that can harm hundreds or thousands of people.
      Roberts, K. Organizational Science, 1990

Richard J Gannotta copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved