Monday, May 30, 2011

Creating a Culture of Safety

I recently had an opportunity to interview Dr. Amy Ship on the Healthy Rounds radio program. Dr. Ship is a primary care internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. She recently published a column in the New England Journal of Medicine that addressed the responsibility of physicians to inquire about safe habits among our patients.

Specifically Dr. Ship addresses the topic of texting while driving and other distracted driving practices. She points out that physicians already direct patients' health habits regarding smoking, diet and sexual practices safe driving should be an extension of that responsibility.

Interestingly, a recent law was passed in Florida prohibiting physicians and specifically pediatricians from asking if there are weapons in the home and if they are safely secured. This law was passed despite the rising number of gun-related injuries in children.

In conclusion, it is the responsibility of all adults, and not just physicans to work toward creating a "culture of safety" by directing the behavior of children and setting a good example.

Do you think physicians should inquire about guns in the home?
What ideas do you have toward creating a "culture of safety" in America?

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