Interview with Ruth Ryan, RN, BSN, MSW, CPHRM

Senior Risk Management Education Specialist (Retired), LAMMICO
Celebrating 10 Years of SIDM
Interview by Susan Carr | Senior Writer, ImproveDx

Ruth Ryan, RN, BSN, MSW, CPHRM

Ruth Ryan, RN, BSN, MSW, CPHRM

Q: How has being involved with SIDM influenced your practice or work?

A: My 12-year commitment to SIDM as a volunteer on the Board and Conference Planning Committee has influenced not just my work but also my organizational and personal life, as follows: I have acquired a better appreciation for the importance of asking, “What else could this be?” I now second-guess myself when events do not confirm my assumptions and consider that I might be wrong. I am willing to go back to the drawing board as needed, asking others for a different opinion or viewpoint, and factor in the role of uncertainty to life as a whole.

Q: As you think about SIDM’s 10-year history, is there a particular success or challenge you’d like to highlight?

A: We started out as a small group mostly comprised of academic internal medicine physicians. In my view, a signature accomplishment has been to reach out, expand our horizons to include nurses and other members of the diagnostic team, and especially our successes in engaging patients at every level of our work while managing to retain our expert physician core.

Q: Where would you like to see the SIDM community focus its influence and resources in the next five years?

A: I think we should devote our influence and resources in the next five years as follows:

  • Find, recruit, train, and promote more diverse diagnostic safety experts into our membership, committees, speaker rosters, staff, and board.
  • Re-connect and build relationships with international organizations and individuals, including the Japanese, who have reached out to us in the past asking how to start up a SIDM in their country, back when we didn’t have the bandwidth to offer direction.
  • Build a bigger tent, i.e., make a conscious decision to be more inclusive of a wider range of opinion and perspective on diagnostic safety at every level of the organization, and not permit a narrow or unfriendly atmosphere that can discourage and drive out those with a different point of view. To truly find out “What else could this be?” we need a range of approaches, disciplines, backgrounds, and viewpoints.