Make Patient Safety a Personal Priority

By: Keith Merlin, MD, Chief, Department of OBGYN

Patient safety has become a national buzzword and it is critical to improving outcomes for moms and babies. It is concerning that the United States has a significantly higher maternal mortality rate than most industrialized countries. The reasons for this are complex but in many cases relate to a failure of a medical team to appropriately recognize and treat serious rare complications. Solving these issues involves improving communication and developing protocols to assist the team to do the right thing.

The first step we need to take is to speak up when we see something that is not right. That applies to all of us. When any member of the healthcare teams feels something is not ok, they need to feel it both ok and their responsibility to inform others of their concerns.

The same applies to each of us. It is both disturbing and sad to hear of the abuses suffered by the children in southern California. It is even more tragic to hear so many people saw things they knew were not right but were reluctant or afraid to say anything. This culture of silence must be changed and it is all of our responsibilities to express our concerns when our health and well being are at stake.





To learn more about Dr. Merlin or request an appointment, visit

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