This week’s must reads in patient safety and health care focus on the need for supporting and maintaining a culture of safety. Two items may be overlooked as the emphasis is placed (where it should) on preventing adverse events and death to the patient:
- Support the “second victim”.
- Celebrate patient safety efforts.
The concept of safety culture originated outside health care, in studies of high reliability organizations, organizations that consistently minimize adverse events despite carrying out intrinsically complex and hazardous work. High reliability organizations maintain a commitment to safety at all levels, from frontline providers to managers and executives. This commitment establishes a “culture of safety” that encompasses these key features:
- acknowledgment of the high-risk nature of an organization’s activities and the determination to achieve consistently safe operations
- a blame-free environment where individuals are able to report errors or near misses without fear of reprimand or punishment
- encouragement of collaboration across ranks and disciplines to seek solutions to patient safety problems
- organizational commitment of resources to address safety concerns
Support the “Second Victim”
In a recent post, Cheryl Connors, RN, MS (Patient Safety Specialist, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality) reminds us to support the “second victim” and provide emotional first aid:
Let’s say that you’re a nurse on a hospital unit, and a colleague has recently been involved in a medication error. It was a mistake that anyone might make — a tenfold overdose that occurred when she wrote down an order and accidentally moved a decimal point one space to the right. Luckily, it didn’t lead to major harm, but the nurse is visibly shaken by the event and the investigation that followed. She looks to you for help dealing with her feelings of professional inadequacy and fear.Now the pressure is on you. What do you say? What words should you avoid?Supporting the “second victim” supports a #patientsafety culture #healthcare Click To Tweet
Celebrate Patient Safety Efforts
Raema A. Howell, MSHI, BSN, RN, CNOR discusses another important element in creating a patient safe culture – celebrating success:
Keeping patients safe is a challenging goal shared by all health care providers. In the perioperative setting, care providers’ actions are guided by providing a safe experience for patients. A successful surgical outcome occurs because of perioperative nurses and other team members whose expertise and knowledge helps protect patients from harm. Surgeries that occur without incidents or near misses should be acknowledged and the team members should be recognized for excellence.Celebrating safe #medical procedures supports a #patientsafety culture #healthcare Click To Tweet