I felt very privileged to be invited to participate in a panel discussion today, at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, titled “The Far Reaching Impact of a Medication Error.” The event took place on Friday, December 6th, 2019. Below are some pictures I took during my short stay in Columbus, Ohio.
So I have to admit, from time to time, naturally, I question wether or not the Emily Jerry Foundation, and this very unconventional career path that I have been on for the past 13 years, is really making a difference in healthcare? Is this work my true calling and should I really continue? These are the types of questions that came to the forefront of my mind yesterday, while I was reading the horrific story about the multiple medication errors, 54 to be exact, that occurred with a little baby named Finn Mummert, over only a three week period!
After reading the very upsetting news about what happened to Finn and sharing a few of my initial thoughts about his story on FB, I began to dig in to my email for the day. One of the first emails I opened included my program evaluation for a medication safety CE I did at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, last month. Shortly after every lecture or presentation I give that is CE, or CME accredited, I receive a program evaluation from the facility or organization where I spoke. The program evaluation is done by every clinician who was in attendance and it’s kind of like my “report card” on how I did overall. The following are some of the extremely kind reviews and comments that I received from the clinician/caregivers in attendance that day, they really helped me put things back into perspective…
“Strong understanding of pharmacy workflow. Made a big and lasting impact on the staff.”
“Engaging speaker with an impactful and emotional message. Mr. Jerry’s support of health care providers, given his experience, is humbling and his activism is greatly appreciated.”
“I whole-heartedly support and endorse your diligent efforts to reverse the astounding statistics on medication errors. I especially commend your efforts after experiencing such a great personal loss. I share your vision for eliminating preventable medication errors and hope you live to see your goal met. Your tireless work has undoubtedly saved many lives. Even though you cannot bring Emily back, know that she lives on in all the others that you have saved through your mission. I hope that can bring at least some comfort to you. I wish you all the best going forward and be assured that when you see Emily again in the next life, she will be quite proud of you for bringing something so good out of something so bad. It takes quite a human being to do what you’ve done in both forgiving and persevering in what has become your life’s work. God truly does work in mysterious ways and He will wipe away every tear.”
“Thank you, Mr. Jerry, for the work you have done and continue to do to promote medication safety and a just culture. You are making a difference and your daughter will not be forgotten. Emily’s life continues to be a force for positive change in the world of medicine.”
“Excellent speaker and presentation! Thankful he has found the strength and courage to work towards eradicating preventable medical errors!”
“Compelling speaker appreciated the focus on just culture and tone of the presentation despite a tragic situation.”
“Such amazing bravery and strength! Thank you for sharing your story to help others.”
“Very powerful presentation! I was hanging on every word. What courage the speaker has to continue to fight for change after a traumatic experience!”
“Excellent program! Very insightful, and I appreciated Mr. Jerry’s perspective and how he turned the most unimaginable tragedy into a force for change!”
I spent this past weekend in Houston, Texas, where I had been invited to give the Keynote for the TSHP Neonatal & Pediatrics Pharmacy Symposium. This particular speaking engagement really meant a lot to me on more of a personal level. The reason I say this, is primarily due to the fact that adverse drug events and medication errors are of particular concern with babies & children, simply because of things like weight based dosing, etc.. In addition, as a patient safety & clinician/caregiver advocate, I began my very unconventional career, over a decade ago, by focusing my initial efforts on affecting positive change and improving medication safety for the tiniest patient population! It always amazes me, that we now have some of these little miracles coming into this world weighing only 250 grams, and if everything goes correctly, by the grace of God, they go on to live full, handicap free lives!! It was truly a privilege to be able to spend time with so many top-notch pharmacists & pharmacy technicians who share my same passion for medication safety and stopping tragedies BEFORE they happen!
I received this update via Facebook on October 26th from my friend Leigh Ann Briscoe-Dwyer, Former Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Pharmedium Services, LLC and I just had to share the news of this great win for patient safety(!)…
“Seven years ago, I had the honor of representing NY at the ASHP House of Delegates. Our delegation met with Christopher Jerry, the father of Emily Jerry who tragically died as the result of a medication error. His question on that day was: “When is NY going to do something about pharmacy technicians?” We didn’t have an answer.
Today we do.
Yesterday Governor Cuomo signed a bill recognizing pharmacy technicians, requiring certification and baseline qualifications and outlining the specific duties that technicians may perform. It’s not a perfect bill but it’s what we have.
We made a promise to Chris that day over seven years ago. Finally we can say we made good on that promise.”
This is a huge step in the right direction and I applaud the efforts of the state of New York and all of the patient and caregiver advocates that helped bring this to fruition.
I was honored to give a talk to help kick off the University Hospitals Quality & Patient Experience Medical Staff Summit, yesterday evening, at Fowler’s Mill in Chesterland, Ohio. It was also great to see my friend Dr. Peter Pronovost (to my left) in attendance. Peter is a critical care physician who is world renowned for his work in patient safety. Very early on, when I was first establishing the Emily Jerry Foundation, and just learning about patient & medication safety, high reliability organizations, clinical workflow, etc., he was one of the very first clinical experts to actually pick up the phone and take my call, providing much needed advice and direction with the work I am so passionate about today! Hard to believe that it was over ten years ago, when he was still at Johns Hopkins! Now, I am very pleased to say that Peter is the Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at University Hospitals in my hometown of Cleveland!
I just arrived in Houston, Texas for the TSHP Neonatal & Pediatric Pharmacy Symposium, where I will be giving the Keynote Address titled, “From Heartbreak to Victory – Saving Lives by Preventing Errors Before They Happen!”
I had the great privilege of being invited to give a CE accredited lecture today, on medication safety, to the amazing pharmacy team at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Next week, I’m really looking forward to heading to Houston, to give the Keynote at the Texas Society for Health System Pharmacists (TSHP) Neonatal & Pediatrics Symposium!
Really looking forward to giving the keynote address tomorrow morning with Eric Cropp, at the Northeastern Regional Hematology Oncology Pharmacists Symposium (NEHOPS). Right after Eric and I did an interview together in May of 2011, for a Discovery Channel patient safety documentary, we had the opportunity to give a number of CE accredited lectures & presentations, all over the United States, that were very well received. However, tomorrow’s keynote, will be the first time we will have had the opportunity to present together in the past five years.
I spent the day, yesterday, in Harrisburg, working with a stellar team of pharmacy experts from the Pennsylvania Society of Health System Pharmacists (PSHP). The primary focus of the day, was on educating the legislators on the vital importance of passing PA HB770 (Pharmacy Technicain Registration and Training) from an overall public safety standpoint.
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is one of only four states, that currently have absolutely NO oversight of their pharmacy technicians, by their state board of pharmacy. This is an enormous public safety issue when you take into account the fact that pharmacy technicians, in all of our nation’s hospitals & medical facilities, are responsible for compounding VIRTUALLY ALL intravenous (IV) medications that go directly into patient’s circulatory systems!
You can learn more about the the Emily Jerry Foundation’s National Pharmacy Technician Initiative & Interactive Scorecard on the bottom of our homepage at emilyjerryfoundation.org.
The IV Automation Technology Coalition, that I have been a part of for the past 3 years, had yet another very productive trip to Washington D.C.! Yesterday, we met with the FDA, in Silver Springs, Maryland. Today, we spent the entire morning, meeting with legislators on Capitol Hill. Even though it was a great trip, and I’m very pleased to say that we accomplished a lot, I’m definitely looking forward to getting home…😊
Heading to Washington D.C. for another round of meetings tomorrow afternoon with the FDA. For the past 3 years, I have had the great privilege of being a part of the IV Automation Technology Coalition, comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders (i.e. pharmacists, practitioners, innovators, patient safety advocates, etc.). We have all been on a journey together to improve patient and medication safety in the United States. We believe that technology has tremendous potential and will play a key role in stopping tragedies, like my daughter Emily’s, BEFORE they happen, and will ultimately save countless lives!!
The Emily Jerry Foundation is determined to help make our nation’s,
world renowned, medical facilities safer for everyone, beginning with
our babies and children. We are accomplishing this very important
objective by focusing on increasing public awareness of key patient
safety related issues and identifying technology and best practices that
are proven to minimize the “human error” component of medicine.
Through our ongoing efforts The Emily Jerry Foundation is working
hard to save lives every day.
In September of 2019, I spent some time in the state capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, on behalf of the Emily Jerry Foundation. I was working with the Pennsylvania Society of Health System Pharmacists (PSHP) team of pharmacy experts,… Read More
I am so grateful to have opportunities like these! Yesterday’s virtual speaking engagement with the University of South Carolina’s College of Pharmacy went extremely well! We had over 200 students & faculty in attendance, including some who were… Read More
It was truly an honor and a privilege to be able to give the virtual Keynote for the “Revolutionizing Patient Safety: Securing the Medication Supply Line Conference”, hosted by the Axia Institute/MSU, yesterday. A primary topic of conversation… Read More