Jenny is a lifelong athlete who brings the joy of practice to mastery learning in healthcare simulation, especially debriefing. To help clinicians develop expert-level performance, she teaches and writes about using “good judgment” in debriefing and feedback conversations. She is fascinated with the challenge of how we sense and harness emotion to hold people to high standards while holding them in high regard. She is an organization behavior scholar on the Anaesethia faculty of Harvard Medical School and Department and Massachusetts General Hospital. She serves as the Executive Director of the Center Medical Simulation, an organization dedicated to improving quality and safety in healthcare through conversation: acute care team communication, clinical feedback, speaking up, debriefing, and dialogue with critically ill patients and their families. She studied system dynamics at MIT, received a doctorate in organizational behavior from Boston College, and a B.A. in sociology from Harvard College.


What were they thinking?! Good judgment under high stakes

You’ve been resuscitating the patient for hours and finally caught up with volume. You come back on your next shift only to find your colleague has been diuresing them all day.

What the heck were they thinking!?! This normal response to colleagues when they miss the mark clinically gets in the way of improving their—and our—performance. It’s natural to judge, to assume our own method is best, and condemn “that idiot” for their wrong-headed approach. In fact, a host of research says we are programed to respond with exasperation and negative judgment. Expert-level critical care performance however, requires feedback, coaching, and collaboration. We have to harness the energy behind our righteous indignation into a spicy mixture of feedback for and curiosity about our colleagues. Paradoxically, our vexation, when channeled into a combination of good judgment plus curiosity can boost quality and collaboration in critical care. Using research on feedback, debriefing and interprofessional communication, this talk illuminates four steps for collaborating to improve performance: 1) Note performance gap, 2) Reset one’s reaction to the gap; 3) Explore the thinking behind the performance; 4) Tailor a win-win solution to their thinking and yours.

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