Ray Valek Writes About the Quest for High Reliability in Health Care, July 2012

By Genevieve Valek

Mindfulness and perfection: these two words summed up a progressive way of thinking about high reliability in health care and other industries, according to thought leaders presenting at the 2012 Fifth International High Reliability Conference, hosted by the Joint Commission from May 21-23.

Ray Valek covered the three-day conference and wrote an article summarizing the proceedings for The Joint Commission’s Web site.

Mindfulness refers to the acute awareness workers in a high-reliability organization must have. They must be mindful that even a small failure in a safety process or procedure can potentially lead to a catastrophically adverse outcome. Mindfulness leads organizations to find flaws at earlier stages when they can be more easily fixed rather than after they have caused them. Perfection in reliability is the standard to which an organization must aim, speakers agreed.

About 150 conference attendees represented industries including aerospace, chemical, emergency medical services, health care, military, nuclear power, petroleum, social services, transportation (including airlines), and wildland fire control. Dr. Daved van Stralen, one of the primary conference organizers and associate professor of pediatrics at Loma Linda University, said all attendees have tried to solve difficult problems and have gained insight or solutions they can share. “This conference is about sharing our experience with each other,” he emphasized.

@ Valek & Company 2016