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Industry Leader Shares Thoughts on Trends and Ethical Issues in Health Care Administration

October 01, 2008
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Dr. Paul Gluck Speaking to School of Business StudentsAs part of its Programs in Health Sector Management and Policy series, the School of Business hosted a lecture Oct. 1 by Paul Gluck, chairman of the National Patient Safety Foundation, who spoke with students and faculty about current trends and ethical issues in health care administration.

Entitled "Patient Safety: Miles to go before I sleep," the lecture focused on ways in which health care professionals can improve patient safety and security. "I think patient safety is a journey and not a destination," said Gluck, who is also a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami School of Medicine, and a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baptist Health Systems South Florida. Gluck spoke about transforming healthcare into a "culture of safety" by improving leadership and teamwork at all levels, making safety the first priority, and reinforcing transparency and honesty as core medical values.

"Everybody who works at a healthcare organization, from the janitor to the CEO, is accountable for the safety of that organization and the safety of those patients," Gluck said.

More than 2,000 people die per week in hospitals across the country from preventable events and billions of dollars are spent each year correcting mistakes, he said. Gluck stressed the importance of reducing complexities within the health care system in order to remove errors and improve standards of safety.

"We're all part of the system of health care, we're all responsible, it becomes everybody's responsibility," he said.

"It is so important that our students hear about issues associated with patient safety.  It is part and parcel of our ongoing discussions relating to a focus on ethics, and doing the right thing.  To have a person of Dr. Gluck's status here to address our students, and our faculty as well, is truly significant,” commented Steven G. Ullmann, professor and director of Programs in Health Sector Management and Policy at the School of Business.

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