Arkansas Hospitals Health & Science

Editor’s Letter: Where There is Learning…

Elisa M. White, editor-in-chief of Arkansas Hospitals

There’s a crackling energy in the room where people are learning. Picture the joy on a new reader’s face or your sixth grader’s relief when linear equations finally make sense.

Recently, we’ve all taken in the urgency of high schoolers learning the value and intricacies of American government. And who among us hasn’t fist pumped when conquering a concept?

Intellectual inquisitiveness is contagious, and it affects our lives every day. That’s what this issue of Arkansas Hospitals is about – the importance of learning and looking beyond our normal comfort zones to do so.

In our field of health care, learning is a necessary constant. Keeping up with the latest requires attention and action. The most recent study, the best modes of quality improvement, the newest patient safety trends, the best practices in infection control – each is important. But health care doesn’t hold all of the answers.

This issue of the magazine reminds us that other fields out there have things to teach us. One of my favorite lessons in this edition comes from Joe Tye, who reminds us that values matter, and one important value is to “Be yourself, unless you’re a jerk.” Joe is one of our returning authors, and one many in health care turn to for answers when the going gets tough.

Kay Kendall, our resident Quality Guru, offers tips on benchmarking “beyond the usual suspects,” and Arkansas experts Bill Craddock, Kim Prescott and Mike Harbour offer us insight into lessons health care can learn from manufacturing, interior design and people’s own personality types.

We continue to face challenges in health care, and most days we need all the help we can get. In a field of constant change, things are changing faster than ever before. What we thought we knew yesterday and put into practice today may well change again by tomorrow.

But every day in every hospital in Arkansas, the one constant is caregivers offering relief for those who suffer, whether patient, family member, co-worker or fellow volunteer. Every day, learning happens. Our hospital teams learn, review, revise and apply. I have long admired this drive to take care of patients better, to constantly search for better ideas and new applications for tried and true concepts.

As a former teacher and lifelong learner, I know that where there is learning, there is always hope. Our hope is that this issue of Arkansas Hospitals will serve as a platform for new learning, and that each of us in health care will look to other industries around us for opportunities to learn. Fist pump!

Elisa M. White

The above article is from the Spring 2018 edition of Arkansas Hospitals, a quarterly magazine published by the Arkansas Hospital Association. Vowell, Inc. produces Arkansas Hospitals on behalf of the Arkansas Hospital Association. This article is reprinted with permission.

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