Learning from others
One of the traditions of an Ignatian education is to encourage students to seek creative solutions to challenging problems. Last year I heard a brilliant story from the medical field of how doctors were able to think beyond their own profession to solve problems:
'A leading doctor was sitting in his London hospital contemplating how his teams could work more effectively when faced with serious emergencies. He was responsible for young children in emergency situations when medical practitioners had to make urgent decisions and act quickly to save lives. Members of medical teams needed to improve their efficiency of movement and decision making in trauma situations. As he was contemplating the problem, his eyes switched to the television screen. A Formula One Motor Race was in action. The precision and skill of the pit crew caught his eye.
He also observed how the driver was constantly aware of the situation around him. He knew what members of the pit crew were supposed to do, and when they were done. The driver never pulled away before he was completely sure that everyone had finished their task. Getting everyone in an operating room or an intensive care unit to be on the same page in this exact same manner is what hospitals were seeking.
Researchers have noted the importance of the role of the lollipop man, the one who waves the car in and coordinates the pit stop. Under the new handover process, the anaesthetist was to be given overall responsibility for coordinating the team until it is transferred to the intensive care specialist at the termination of the handover.
The Doctor arranged for a pit crew to visit his medical staff and discussions led to a great exchange of ideas around the precision of movement and mind to make urgent decisions. He also asked his staff to think of other groups who also effectively coordinated their movements in tight situations. A visit from London Ballet was then scheduled.’
In a constantly changing world, it is always good to learn from the brilliant and innovative thinking of others.