Implementing Change to achieve a Culture of Patient Safety in Healthcare

Implementing Change to achieve a Culture of Patient Safety in Healthcare – Literature review Example

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  The paper “Implementing Change to achieve a Culture of Patient Safety in Healthcare” is an excellent example of a literature review on nursing.   Stavrianopoulos (2016) defines patient safety as the prevention of harm to patients. According to Ulrich & Kear (2014), patient safety is the foundation of delivery of health care because patient safety ensures errors are prevented; lessons are learnt from errors that occur and there is a culture of safety that entails healthcare providers, institutions and patients as well. The culture of patient safety has a direct link to the behaviors of healthcare providers for example reporting of errors.

Accordingl y, (El-Jardali et al,(2011) suggest that it is important to implement a culture of patient safety in an organisation. Patient safety culture refers to the shared values among organisational members, their beliefs and interactions which generate organisational norms that promote safety (Verbakel et al, 2014). Patient Safety Culture Safety culture has three key constituents that include; learning the culture, just culture and reporting culture. Chassin & Loeb (2013) explain that a just culture consists of a trustful culture where justice and responsibility are critical constituents.

Ulrich & Kear (2014) further asserts that a reporting culture promotes reporting of errors and safety matters and therefore a learning culture promotes learning from errors as well as other safety issues. It is therefore important to ensure that a safety culture is implemented in order to ensure the delivery of safe healthcare. However, El-Jardali et al (2011) argue that a safety culture that entirely ensures reliability has trust, reporting and improvement as the key characteristics. When healthcare providers demonstrate trust in their colleagues and leadership, they are able to habitually identify and report errors as well as unsafe circumstances.

Actions from leaders are what result to trust. As Halligan & Zecevic (2011) puts it, trust occurs within an organisation when intimidating actions and behaviours that restrain reporting are eliminated and concerns of staff members are handled promptly and improvements are communicated to the involved staff members. Maintaining a culture of trust obliges institutions to hold staff members responsible to adhere to the set safety procedures and guidelines (El-Jardali et al, 2011). Ring & Fairchild (2013) emphasises that it is necessary to have a clear, fair and transparent process that identify and separate blameless errors from unsafe actions that are blameworthy.

When an organisation implements trust, reporting and improvement in their culture, a culture of safety is successfully reinforced. On the other hand, Halligan & Zecevic (2011) provides that subcultures of patient safety include: leadership, teamwork, evidence-based care, communication, learning, just, in addition to patient centred-care. This implies that for an organisation to ensure there is patient safety there are some subcultures that should be cultivated within an organisation.

Evidence indicates that organisations that attain high reliability by successfully reducing serious hazards have “ safety culture” as their foundation for promoting exceptional performance (Chassin & Loeb, 2013). However, in spite of the evident significance of safety culture in ensuring patient safety and performance improvement, a high number of health care institutions are still struggling to attain patient safety. According to Halligan & Zecevic (2011), the lack of safety culture is still the main contributing factor to many safety incidents and issues that healthcare organisations encounter. This is because as Ulrich & Kear (2014) suggests a strong safety culture ensures that risks are identified and reduced and also that patient harm is prevented.

The evidence further indicates that poor safety culture in most cases leads to cover-up of errors and hence it is not possible to prevent harm or learn from the errors. Verbakel et al (2014) opine that it is important to have a culture that provides opportunities to enhance and improve the healthcare system and therefore prevent patient harm; the safety culture should ensure that individuals are not blamed for errors also errors are not handled as individual failures