“Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”
– U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
As many of you kind readers already know from recent posts, I’m building a network to help nurses safely report abuses against them. I intend to level the playing field in health care, and help nurses gather the power we need to stand up for ourselves and our patients, confidently and successfully.
But there are so many details to consider! I could think about them all for the rest of my life and never reach certainty, but experience shows me a far better way: try out promising tactics, learn and adapt from experience. More efficient, more effective: better. Basic nursing process, really, on a large scale.
Today I present one such detail, crucially important in my estimation. I want to protect nurses from retaliation, and I want to enhance the credibility of the information they offer. Anonymous reporting lends itself to abuses, clearly: lies, fake reports, bullying: poor credibility. Yet identified nurse reporters remain unacceptably vulnerable to retaliatory abuse. Why else would I bother with this project? It’s a conundrum: how to have the best of both worlds, without the baggage?
I have two goals in this post. One: recruit any clever solutions anyone out there might have to offer. Nurses are such a clever crowd! Two: offer my tentative solution, for your consideration. I hope to learn from your opinions.
Nurses are excellent judges of clinical reports. We do it all the time. We know crap when we hear it. My thought is this: if we can recruit nurses to vet anonymous nurse reports, perhaps we can protect both sources and credibility. If we steer reports from a given specialty to expert nurses in that specialty for assessment, we take an important step forward. We gather information ‘certified’ by a trusted judge. Unlike Yik Yak anonymous gossip and the like, we can offer high quality information. And we can offer sources whatever level of anonymity they want.
Next, on we go of course to other steps in the process, other details, like where/how to store and offer such information. Another day… When is anything in nursing simple or easy?
Here’s our need for now: who out there would be willing to offer a few minutes here and there to vet reports? There’s no liability involved as far I can tell: no one need decide a report is true, simply check it for credibility, nothing more. Then you can pass it on to the next step: done! The whole point of this project is to spread the light of day widely, WITH ABSOLUTELY THE LEAST RISK POSSIBLE TO ALL INVOLVED.
Nurses get the job done. I’m a nurse. You’re a nurse. See?
P.S.: What do you good folks think of the name?