Dana Siegal, R.N., CPHRM, CPPS, is the Director of Patient Safety Services at CRICO Strategies in Boston, Massachusetts.
We still lack the universally shared vision of “safety first” across every aspect of care delivery, which is critical to accelerating our progress over the next five years. We have demonstrated pockets of success but not yet achieved the sweeping engagement we need to build and sustain a culture of patient safety across the entire system.
Something’s missing, and if we are to accelerate progress over the next five years, we must understand the gaps between the desired and actual state of patient safety. We have identified things that are foundational to a culture of safety: senior leadership engagement and commitment to “safety first,” clinical leaders and managers holding everyone accountable for practices and procedures proven to keep patients and providers safe, and providers and staff members reporting safety concerns and adverse events. “Just Culture,” transparency, and high reliability are accepted as critical to patient safety, but we’re not connecting the dots between these concepts and a real, personal commitment to patient safety on the front lines.