Mental models supplant each other all the time and, hopefully, we adopt better ones as we go. When it comes to healthcare and medical errors, we hear about the Swiss Cheese model all the time. There have been times in my life where I heard about it daily for months on end!
Now, as we develop a better understanding of what lines up to create a defect in healthcare, let's adopt a better idea of medical error based on a better analogy.
Let's adopt the Frogger Model of medical error instead of a piece of cheese. Click the link below for the description of how Frogger describes medical error MUCH better than a dairy product.
Like you, I hear about the Swiss Cheese model a lot. And, don’t get me wrong, it’s much better than what came before. Now, however, in order to recognize the importance of probability, motion, initial position, devising a safe path through traffic, and a host of other considerations, let’s opt for a model that recognizes uncertainty, probability, and safety. With more Millenials than ever in the workplace (even though Frogger predates them!) we have digital natives with whom game imagery is much more prone to resonate than a static piece of cheese. Use Frogger next time you explain medical error because it embodies how to avoid medical errors MUCH better than cheese.