Our “Why” 

A Message from Tamra Strong, Founding Partner

Tamra Strong, founding partner, Reliability 4 LifeSustaining life, caregiving, and reducing harm as a high reliability expert and healthcare professional is my passion and life’s work. This passion grew out of a desire to transform loss and pain into making a life-giving difference for others.

Thousands of encounters with business leaders and caregivers clearly demonstrate that high reliability cultures save lives.  I’ve witnessed preventable harm in every setting that affects us all.  And I’ve witnessed life-saving interventions through high reliability Life Skills training in all settings, work and beyond.

My “Why” for RELIABILITY 4Life was born from life-altering, personal and clinical lessons:

The first formative lesson was working with a brilliant Nurse Preceptor whose experience, high expectations and commanding presence allowed no room to speak up.  Our patient had a life-threatening infection.  As a new ICU nurse, I followed the Nurse Preceptor’s lead, despite my mounting safety concerns.  I didn’t speak up, fearing recrimination.  In a heartbeat, a contaminated needle lodged in my finger and the patient’s infection threatened my life, too.

The second lesson was caring for a patient with chronic renal failure, recovering from surgery. The patient, her family and I had bonded, and I knew her well.  One evening, I noticed her cognitive function and vitals were declining. I called in doctors on the unit for help.  Instead of coming to the room, they argued about treatment on the floor.  When a doctor finally arrived in room, the patient was in crisis and fear for her life had taken hold.

In crisis mode, I recommended a medication – in retrospect, a thinking error.  The doctor followed my lead without question, despite not knowing me or my training – a second thinking error.  Right after we administered the medication, our patient coded, and we couldn’t revive her.  I believed I had killed her, which I now know was the third thinking error that nearly caused me to resign.   

The most crucial lesson was through my father.  He had a rare cancer that would’ve been lethal if not contained immediately.  Miraculously, he survived an intense surgical intervention that eliminated all traces of cancer. But, due to system-caused error in the OR, an undetected sepsis infection had reached his bloodstream. Sepsis, not cancer, was lethal. My father’s last hours with my mother were in excruciating pain.  But his legacy to me in his last months? He urged me to accept a new safety & reliability consultant role with HPI, now part of Press Ganey.

Thus began the last mile to RELIABILITY 4Life.

Revealing root causes of error, learning science of safety, and developing high reliability cultures to reduce harm has been healing and life-giving.   Thirty plus years re-engineering cultures for safety and high reliability, training thousands of leaders and caregivers, and reducing harm, have transformed pain into caregiving and healing.

My why?  Personal experience with senseless loss fueled my passion to make a life-giving difference through Reliability 4Life.

We look forward to partnering with you to make a difference, everywhere you work, live, learn and play.

Tamra Strong