It’s not always easy to remember the names of new people you meet. But imagine if the people you usually met were doctors wearing surgical masks that cover half their faces.
That thought gave Dr. Rob Hackett an idea — though his colleagues initially mocked him for it.
But after actually trying it, Dr. Rob’s coworkers suddenly realized the power of his idea — and they quickly took action.
Dr. Rob Hackett works at several hospitals in Sydney, Australia.
Because he doesn’t just have one workplace, Dr. Rob struggles to remember everyone’s name — and since his colleagues are often wearing surgical masks, it’s even more difficult.
That was what gave Dr. Rob an ingenious idea. He wrote his name on his forehead so everyone could easily know who he was.
But at first, no one followed his lead. Instead, they teased him and jokingly asked if he had difficulty remembering his own name. But Rob didn’t give up. Because he knew his simple idea had the power to save lives.
After all, doctors work under stressful conditions where even seconds can mean the difference between life and death.
“Last Friday I went to a cardiac arrest in a theater where there were about 20 people in the room. I struggled to even ask to be passed some gloves because the person I was pointing to thought I was pointing to the person behind them,” Rob told the Sydney Morning Herald.
The power to save lives
Displaying names on foreheads in the operating theater is simply a way to save precious seconds. Instead of pointing a person and asking for an instrument, it’s much easier to address them by name.
Even though it must have been fun for his coworkers to tease him, Rob was vindicated when some doctors actually tried it. And it saved time when the doctors were trying to save lives.
Rob launched a campaign on Twitter to encourage more hospital workers to take his initiative. And he stressed two points:
- Do it and you introduce an obvious simple solution to improve patient care and outcomes.
- Don’t do it and you demonstrate how healthcare, institutions, frameworks and culture are resistant to change and improvement.
Since Dr. Rob started the campaign, nurses and doctors around the world have started writing their names on their foreheads.
People like Dr. Rob have helped to make healthcare better — and, in particular, they have increased the chances that lives are saved. One name at a time.
Rob’s fantastic initiative deserves to be celebrated. Please share the article so that more hospital staff see it. It can save vital seconds — and lives!
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