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Picture of Kalleh
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I heard a speaker today who trains professionals on how to respond to media interviews. He said that we need to do away with saying, "We are committed to..." or "Our top priority is..." because often this is when hospitals or boards are responding to something bad that has already happened so the organization didn't make it a high priority or they weren't that committed. If the speaker is responding to the media because one of their doctors removed the wrong breast on a patient, clearly safety wasn't their high priority. Instead, he says, you should say, "Patient safety is our goal."

Thoughts?
 
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Picture of BobHale
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Thoughts? I think he's fool. The phrases he objects to don't imply anything of the sort. And to me the phrase "patient safety is our goal" is so trite a little truism that it makes me instantly ask what has prompted them to say it all. Have there been questions about the hospital's safety record? Are there an unusual number of deaths? Has it been compared to the hospital in the film "Coma"?

When an organisation states something that is so obvious it instantly raises the question of why it is being said at all.

There is a hotel across the street from the bus stop that I use to go to school here in Yangshuo. It is called, in very large letters, "The Good Clean Shanshui Hotel". When you see that as the name of a hotel it's almost inevitable that your very first thought will be "you would only need to say that if it was bad and dirty". (Your second thought, given where it is, should be "that's probably just a literal translation that's been inappropriately used".)


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I see your point - though I don't see why the phrases: "We are committed to patient safety..." or "Our top priority is patient safety..." don't say the same thing to you, or do they?
 
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"We are committed to" kind of does but "Our top priority is" is different. A hospital has many different things that might be priorities... dealing with as many patients as possible, reducing waiting times in ER, the aforementioned patient safety, security of the wards, safety of the doctors, reducing the cost of care... all sorts of things. Only one can logically be the top priority and there is no problem with saying which one it is.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Also, now I think of it, doesn't having a "goal" mean that it's something you haven't achieved yet while "we are committed to" mean it's something you want to continue to maintain?


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
Posts: 9421 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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It all boils down to circumlocution and obfuscation. Political and/or car dealer speak.
We wouldn't want to seem simple-minded and just state the truth, would we?
 
Posts: 6173 | Location: Muncie, IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
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I can see his point, though. Having a goal is one thing, but making it your highest priority when it has failed doesn't look good. The same goes for being committed to, though not as much.

And, believe me, with 400,000 deaths per year because of medical errors in the U.S., patient safety is still a goal and not something we have achieved.
 
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