Key Attributes and Joint Benefits of Safety Culture

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Key Attributes of Safety Culture

Key attributes of safety culture include:

  • Strong support from organizational leadership
  • Acknowledgment of the high-risk nature of an organization’s activities
  • Determination to achieve consistently safe operations
  • Responsibility by everyone for safety implementation and reporting unsafe conditions
  • A blame-free environment for individual reporting of errors or near misses without fear of reprimand or punishment
  • Encouragement of collaboration about decision-making across all staff levels and disciplines to seek solutions to worker and patient safety problems (DiCuccio, 2015; AHRQ, 2019)
  • Organizational commitment of resources to address safety concerns (TJC, 2012)

Overlap of Patient and Worker Safety – Joint Benefits of Safety Culture

Joint benefits of patient and worker safety include:

  • A safer environment for patients is a safer environment for workers and vice versa because both are tied to many of the same underlying cultural and systemic issues.
  • A report from The Joint Commission found that workers were more likely to adhere to standard precautions when they felt that their facility had a strong commitment to safety and implemented targeted interventions to improve employee health and safety (i.e., a strong safety culture).
  • Workers who practice safely will be better able to provide error-free care to patients.
  • Recognizing that lapses in infection prevention and control, fatigue, or faulty equipment that may result in injury or illness to workers, patients, and others in the institution can lead to opportunities for improvement through lessons learned and training. (DiCuccio, 2015; TJC, 2017; AHRQ, 2019; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019; TJC, 2021).