Sunday, October 13, 2013


By Guest Blogger Sarah H. Parker, PhD, human factors research scientist and director of education and academic affairs at MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare

My fellow associates—

Have you ever done something because someone you liked and respected did it? I know I have. What if we can take this idea, that people are influenced by individuals they like and respect, and use it to spread patient safety practices?

Our idea is that “safety is contagious.” We believe that we can leverage existing social networks within healthcare to create a social epidemic of safety.

A team from the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, which includes myself; Raj Ratwani, PhD, a senior human factors research scientist and scientific director; and Alan Fong, human factors research specialist, is one of only eight teams selected by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) from 521 submissions (!) to present our idea in the Pioneer Pitch competition on October 16 in New York City.

We need your help!
If you use social media (Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn), help us get the word out.

Here’s a couple of examples of tweets or posts you could use:

Tweet: MedStar is 1 of 8 finalists presenting at #pioneerpitch on 10/16. Read more:

Post: MedStar has one of eight finalists presenting at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Pitch Day on 10/16. Read about our idea in this Q&A:  

Pioneer Pitch Day is sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and is an opportunity to pitch an idea live and in-person to RWJF program staff and an esteemed group of judges. The foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio is focused on funding transformative innovations in health and healthcare.


  1. We could certainly use everybody's help and support as we push this idea forward!


  2. Congratulations to you, Raj, and Allan on a great pitch! So happy to hear that your team was selected as one of the three finalists!!!! The pitch was great and I knew they'd love it! Congratulations!

    Angela Thomas