Thursday, May 17, 2007

Chatbots; virtual surgery

Two things from BoingBoing that amused me this week, for completely different reasons -

- I Chat, Therefore I Am... - Discover Magazine has transcripts of two chatbots (ALICE and Jabberwacky) talking to each other. An excerpt:
J: How do you define life?

A: Life is the opposite of death.

J: So death is the absence of life?

A: Take it easy. I try not to think about such things.

J: Why not?

A: Ambiguous.

J: Yes!
- Perform virtual surgery on a stuffed bunny in 60 seconds or less - a little weird I guess but fun. You have to prepare the bunny for surgery, make the incision, complete a couple of intraoperative tasks. I must admit that it's a good thing I'm not a surgeon - the first time I killed the bunny when the phone rang; he didn't even come close to surviving until the 2nd go-round.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

New WHO patient safety solutions

The World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Patient Safety Solutions (with the Joint Commission and Joint Commission International as key collaborators) has launched 9 publications intended to support improved patient safety at the international level:

- Look-Alike, Sound-Alike Medication Names
- Patient Identification
- Communication During Patient Hand-Overs
- Performance of Correct Procedure at Correct Body Site
- Control of Concentrated Electrolyte Solutions
- Assuring Medication Accuracy at Transitions in Care
- Avoiding Catheter and Tubing Mis-Connections
- Single Use of Injection Devices
- Improved Hand Hygiene to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infection

The press release notes, "The basic purpose of the solutions is to guide the re-design of care processes to prevent inevitable human errors from actually reaching patients."

“These solutions offer to WHO Member States a major new resource to assist their hospitals in avoiding preventable deaths and injuries,” says Dennis S. O’Leary, M.D., president, The Joint Commission. “Countries around the world now face both the opportunity and the challenge to translate these solutions into tangible actions that actually save lives.”

“These Patient Safety Solutions were designed through a truly international collaborative effort, and represent what has been learned internationally about where, how and why certain adverse events occur,” says Karen H. Timmons, president and chief executive officer, Joint Commission International. “A critical component of their development has involved inclusion of input from patients and their families who have experienced preventable harm.”

- Joint Commission press kit
- facts and figures prompting some of the topic selections

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