Why are organizations encouraged to develop a culture of safety?

 Why are organizations encouraged to develop a culture of safety? How can a culture of safety be achieved? How can a culture of safety be assessed? Research and identify an article discussing a healthcare organization e.g. hospital, nursing home, surgery center, patient care facility etc. that has implemented innovative safety operations to reduce corporate risk. Summarize three to four main points from your selected article 

 

Patient Safety Issues

The need for increased awareness concerning patient safety issues within the current U.S. health care delivery system, definitive protocols, universal procedures, and strong leadership has reached a critical juncture. Data suggests increases in medical errors within the last decade to be staggering. Poignant and dramatic speculations have been argued, yet there seems to be a lack of solidification regarding the causative agent. Furthermore, “preventing errors means designing the health care system at all levels to make it safer. Building safety into processes of care is a more effective way to reduce errors than blaming individuals” (Institute of Medicine, 2000, p.4). Suggestions have been incorporated into the demographics pertaining to policy, procedures, areas of concern, and overlapping departmental operations. However, the most prominent recommendations highlight leadership, research, watchdog reporting efforts, yet also introducing increased levels of patient safety within individual organizations.

Competency within leadership positions and the ability to implement improved patient safety protocols will produce greater return regarding applicability of processes. The ability to think critically automatically improves systems, “the growing awareness of the frequency and significance of errors in health care creates an imperative to improve our understanding of the problem and devise workable solutions” (Institute of Medicine, 2000, p.7). With this in mind, the ability to learn from past performance short comings, and the ability to create systems/ processes pertaining to monitoring future progress will aid the U.S health care delivery system in producing increased patient safety standards. Leadership will ultimately be the key predicator regarding the actual application phase of increased patient safety standards; however, this does not necessarily mean leadership at the federal and state level, individual leadership among organizations will undoubtedly afford great strides in the endeavor to produce, maintain, and extrapolate vast areas of improvement issues pertaining to protocol and data.

An ongoing issue, patient safety and quality of care, limitations exist within all areas of application. Within the current system, “there are large gaps between the care people should receive and the care they do receive. This is true for preventative, acute, and chronic care, whether one goes for a checkup, a sore throat, or diabetic care” (Institute of Medicine, 2001, p.236). Research and knowledge will ultimately prevail as the capstone regarding increased patient safety along the various avenues of health care, areas such as primary, secondary, and tertiary care will need to be educated pertaining to data driven conclusions, continual educations seminars, and mandates set in place by state and federal organizations. The application of leadership dedicated and focused regarding long term improvement; along with, accurate and applicable data driven assessments will provide avenues for advancement and possible catch up pertaining to strides archived by outside industry. Incorporating commitment and communication within the U.S. health care delivery system will produce a new era of increased patient safety standards.

References

Institute of Medicine. (2000). To error is human: building a safer health system. Kohn, L.T., Corrigan, J.M. and Donaldson, M.S. Washington, D.C. National Academy Press.

Institute of Medicine. (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st century. Washington, D.C. National Academy Press.

Dr. Robert C. Smiles, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, University of Arizona Global

 

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