Dunny Design

The fact that my emerging interest in Human Factors/Ergonomics and design (see here) coincided to a large degree with me having to spend a lot of time in toilets due to colitis (see here), has meant I’ve developed a, some would say “unhealthy”, obsession fascination interest in the way toilets and bathrooms are designed. It basically means that every time I go into a toilet or a bathroom, I’m paying more attention to what’s around me than I used to. This will include observing things such as taps, sinks, doors, locks, signage, layout (pretty much everything really!), and thinking about the potential impacts, both positive and negative, that these artefacts, that are “99% invisible“, have on aspects of life such as personal hygiene, public health, privacy, accessibility, usability, aesthetics and so on.

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Casting the Pods Far and Wide

I’m a big fan of podcasts. I first got into them when I was diagnosed with advanced melanoma in late 2013, and my use of them has only grown since. After that diagnosis, I, all of a sudden, had a lot of time on my hands as I could no longer work, and I was spending a lot of time in hospitals and medical waiting rooms. Due to the brain mets, I was prohibited from driving so I was doing a lot of walking and catching public transport, and there were also times where I didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts and podcasts were a good distraction. They have now become a thing I do, when doing something I’d rather not be doing, such as housework and exercise. I’ve even bought a waterproof speaker so I can listen to them while showering.

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Sorting the #DudScrubs Laundry

This is where I’ll be picking my way through all the dirty #DudScrubs laundry. Tighten those side-ties, because there’s a lot to get through!

For an explanation of what #DudScrubs is all about, read my more detailed post on it here.

Below I’ve started organising the various tweets into different categories to make them easier to find, and because different aspects may be of more interest or importance to different people. But I think it is the overall picture that makes the case for change so compelling, and that hospitals need to sit up, take notice, and start asking their staff what they can do to make their scrub provisioning system more fit-for-purpose. Continue reading “Sorting the #DudScrubs Laundry”

It’s Time to #ScrubOut #DudScrubs

An unavoidable part of working in operating theatres is the requirement to wear what is formally known as “Perioperative Attire”, but casually known as “scrubs”. While the term “scrubs” is now used to refer to similar clothing worn anywhere in the hospital, the primary purpose of theatre scrubs is to reduce the introduction of environmental pathogens into the theatre environment, thereby reducing the incidence of surgical site infections. Most hospitals require staff to wear scrubs supplied and laundered by the hospital. So essentially, scrubs are a mandatory workplace uniform, supplied by the hospital, to be worn by staff to improve patient outcomes.

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A Purple Patch for a Power Problem

Part of my job as an Anaesthesia Quality and Safety Fellow is to monitor reports made though our Anaesthesia Safety Monitoring Project, which allows staff to report latent safety threats, near-misses, faulty or badly designed equipment and pretty much anything that might pose a threat to patient safety. Below is the text of a “Letter to the Editor” that I wrote explaining how we were able to quickly and cheaply respond to an issue highlighted by one of these reports. The letter was published in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, and it can be accessed here (login required) or viewed online here by anyone.

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“MHR-as-Imagined” vs “MHR-as-Done”

A little while back I wrote a post on my early experiences with MyHealthRecord (MHR), discussed its strengths and weaknesses, and made some suggestions for improvement. At that point, it was still opt-in, but on July 16th a three month phase in period started whereby people can opt-out, before an MHR is created automatically for them. In the lead up to that date, and in the time since, MHR has been the subject of some robust discussion on both mainstream and social media. While the concept itself has been generally well received, there is significant controversy and debate over numerous aspects of the system, the legislation underlying it, as well as the government’s handling of the roll-out. Continue reading ““MHR-as-Imagined” vs “MHR-as-Done””

Progress Notes-Chronological

As discussed here, I was diagnosed with advanced melanoma in late 2013. It has been a wild ride since, and I thought it would be good to document the many steps in my journey. I’m hoping this will be a useful record not just for myself, but my family and friends, as well as those that might be facing a similar journey themselves. This document will evolve over time, both as I go back through the last few years and find things to add, but also as my story continues to unfold.

To see my medical history organised by system, see this post here.

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Valvular Insufficiency

Take a look at the image below and see if you can spot the differences between these two IV giving sets:

Maybe the packaging will help?

How did you go? There are actually a few differences between them, but there is one in particular that I am interested in, and you should be too. Can you guess which one it is? Yes, that little white bit circled in red is what’s called a “one-way”, “back check” or just “check” valve. As the name suggests it ensures fluid in the line can only move one-way i.e. from the IV fluid bag and into the patient. This valve is there so that if you are running a secondary infusion it will flow into the patient, rather than back up the primary line and into the fluid bag. A visual representation of what this valve does can be seen in this video:

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The Fastest Surgeon on Earth

I had the privilege of giving a presentation at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists in May 2018. Below is a pre-recorded version of my presentation.

The Fastest Surgeon on Earth from Dr Getafix on Vimeo.

EHRs: Safety vs Privacy & the ETTO Principle

A little while back I posted about the challenges a family member faced after forgetting to bring their medications when they came to visit us. In that post I referred to the Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions  (eTP) and I’ve now taken a closer look at this system and discovered some useful features, but also significant room for improvement and expansion. Continue reading “EHRs: Safety vs Privacy & the ETTO Principle”