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Creating a Culture of Safety 

Creating a Culture of Safety
Chapter:
Creating a Culture of Safety
Author(s):

Thomas R. Chidester

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199366149.003.0008
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date: 23 February 2020

Safety culture focuses on who is responsible in what ways for patient safety, ranging from individuals and teams performing critical duties on the front lines to the context within which work takes place, and high-level organizational priorities. Though it is a recent concept, it represents growth in the understanding of accident causation, and offers additional and potentially more broadly effective preventive actions. Key concepts include organizational commitment, operational interactions, formal and informal safety indicators, and safety behaviors and outcomes. Measurement can be accomplished through benchmarked surveys, case analysis, field observation, and examination of procedures, manuals, newsletters, brochures, and performance evaluation criteria for their safety focus. Intervening to improve safety culture requires assessing an organization’s current state, communicating safety and minimizing patient risk as a core value in a methodical and sustained manner, deploying and monitoring standardized procedures by workgroup, establishing feedback systems, and reporting progress in safety alongside economic progress.

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