Dennis Quaid knows firsthand the difference between these two colors. One color indicates 10 units of the blood thinner Heparin while the other color represents a much larger amount of the drug. As we all know, the wrong color-a potentially deadly dose- was given to his twin babies. At HiMSS09 Sunday, Quaid shared his heart wrenching story of a father, a husband and now an advocate of the prevention and reduction of errors in healthcare.
Quaid and his wife, Kimberly, started their own foundation to promote patient safety after their twins, Thomas and Zoe, received an overdose of Heparin while in the hospital for an infection. The foundation is raising awareness that healthcare needs to pull itself from the 1920s and into the 21st century.
His vision is to have technological advancements, like bar coding and electronic health records, become common solutions in all hospitals. He believes he United States should lead the way in patient safety, making it available (and affordable) to all hospitals, large or small. Bar coding exists in grocery stores across the U.S. Quaid challenges healthcare to adapt this technology to everything from hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, and insurance. He challenges leadership at both the government levels and the private sector to have universal standards for EHRs and bar codes with interoperability for the security of the patients.
At the end of the day, Quaid continues to have faith and confidence in hospitals, doctors and nurses. And while he reveres the work they do, system failures lead to human errors.
The conference is abuzz with systems that will gladly help any healthcare organization increase patient care while reducing human error.