Great leaders, regardless of their position or role, understand the need to create an environment where there is capacity for themselves and those around them to learn, grow and change; in essence not just to survive, but to thrive. Hospitals, physicians and health systems are now under ever-increasing pressure to develop healthcare environments that support safety and prevent harm. Engaging leadership and transforming culture are necessary steps for building the high reliability organizations that will move healthcare into the future by protecting the safety of patients and workers while providing excellent care through complexity and changing conditions.
Culture is an important aspect of social environments – it is the shared assumptions, beliefs and norms that determine the way people perceive, think and feel. There is considerable research demonstrating the relationship between organizational culture and the ability to consistently deliver services which provide value and good outcomes. A safe culture is an environment in which there is shared responsibility, role clarity and open and frequent communication related to safety. Key values and activities are nurtured and rewarded including employee awareness, vigilance, a process for formally identifying hazards and action steps for resolving safety concerns and problems.
WSHA provides these tools to help hospitals and healthcare systems ensure that they have engaged leadership and strong safety cultures.