HEALTHCARE CULTURE OF SAFETY
It is the responsibility of any healthcare organization to ensure the safety of all patients as well as all other stakeholders. A healthcare organization should create a culture that influences an environment that promotes safety for everyone. In this line, a culture of safety is recommended as a crucial factor in ensuring timely, efficient, and safe patient care. It is an essential element underlying effective teamwork, constant learning, delivery of safety behavior such as error reporting, as well as safety outcomes like reduced adverse events (Wachter, 2012).
These necessitate the adoption of a culture of safety in every health care organization. In a culture of safety, healthcare professionals and patients are not only encouraged to work toward change but take action when necessary. In such a culture, inaction is perceived as a taboo. In this way, the pressure comes from all directions- from the leaders as well as the peers (Wachter, 2012). No pointing of figures is allowed in an organization that embraces the culture of safety. Safety is everyone’s responsibility. From this point, there are various specific characteristics of the culture of safety.First, in a culture of safety, everyone in the organization is empowered and has the right to ask or raise concern over an issue that he or she feels is not right. Since social norms in healthcare will naturally inhibit the junior staff from challenging those in authority, the leadership should ensure that there are little discrimination and intimidation in the healthcare environment (Halligan & Zecevic 2011). The leadership should encourage those in authority to acknowledge and incorporate if possible the decisions and views of their junior.
However, the leadership should also understand that such empowerment to stop a practice or procedure may be a barrier that can prevent an acute healthcare event, hence; such powers should be regulated and restricted to some extent. Second, in such a culture, everyone is clearly aware of the inherent risk in what the healthcare organization does. It is human nature to let down the guard after numerous successful activities or practices. It is a similar case in healthcare, where, no matter how hazardous or complex a practice is, if repeatedly done in the right way without errors, little effort is often put so ensure the safety in such a practice (Halligan & Zecevic 2011). In a culture of safety, such practices are done with a healthy uneasiness where the convention is “trust but verify” (Halligan & Zecevic 2011).
In such a culture, the healthcare professionals hold discussions about the errors that resulted in adverse events or the near misses that earlier professionals had experienced in the healthcare organization. Understanding these risks gives healthcare professionals an insight of how to handle repetitive tasks in the healthcare environment (Halligan & Zecevic 2011).Third, learning and constant improvement are essential values in a culture of safety. In the culture, when an error or adverse event occurs in a healthcare environment, they form key learning opportunities (Halligan & Zecevic 2011). In such a …