Talk about a power couple: Johns Hopkins, as a leading health care institution, and Lockheed Martin, the aviation leader, are teaming up to make the world a safer place.
Specifically, the intensive care unit (ICU). Although it may seem strange at first, hospitals have a lot to learn from the airline industry about safety. “A hospital ICU contains 50 to 100 pieces of electronic equipment that may not communicate to one another nor work together effectively,” says Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., Armstrong Institute director and senior vice president for patient safety and quality for Johns Hopkins Medicine. Airlines have similar issues of complicated machinery, crucial split-second decisions, and intricate, error-prone processes.
Lockheed Martin is talking to Hopkins about a single-system ICU, rather than the current model (which tends to resemble Frankenstein’s monster). Intelligently-integrated machines could help prioritize patient alarms, for example. Checklists are another big part of the airline industry’s quality control; Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto urged that hospitals learn from the airlines back in 2009; now Johns Hopkins will (as usual) be leading the way.