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Patient Safety Culture, Research Paper Example

Pages: 4

Words: 965

Research Paper

The safety culture within the selected organization represents an opportunity to explore the climate of safety promotion that is necessary to protect patients and employees from unnecessary risk or harm. Within the hospital setting, patient safety is of the utmost importance and should be treated as such in order to accomplish care and treatment objectives in a successful manner. The culture of safety within the hospital environment provides further evidence of the commitment by employees to positively influence patient outcomes by practicing the appropriate safety measures at all times. As a clinician, it is important to identify areas where errors might persist and compromise patient safety and the efforts that are required to improve outcomes and reduce the number of errors that occur (Armstrong and Laschinger, 2006).

Body

For the organization in question, it is important to recognize the value of surveys in recognizing employee perceptions and to determine where there are gaps in safety protocols and other concerns. Based upon the sample survey instrument, the following conclusions are drawn regarding the example hospital environment: 1) The teamwork perspective is strong but could be even stronger; 2) There is sufficient staff during the daytime shift to manage the workload, but the evenings are often sparse, thereby leading to potential gaps in patient safety; 3) Respect is of primary concern for most staff members; 4) Patient safety is very important but is sometimes overlooked in lieu of managing large caseloads; 5) When errors occur, a “blame game” is often evident without any real identification of the causes of these errors; and 6) there are significant challenges associated with working against the clock in “crisis mode,” whereby interruptions constantly take place and hamper progress in different ways. In each of these examples, it is strongly evident that the organization and each unit must regroup in order to determine how to improve patient safety over time. Although the intent is present, the follow through is not always evident and may lead to patient errors. It is important to recognize these problems and to take the steps that are required to ensure that patient care is not compromised in any way as a result of poor patient safety protocols.

In this environment, it is also evident that there are significant factors that support the development of new programmatic efforts to improve safety and modify current methods as necessary to expand outcomes for patients. Based upon the survey instrument, the management team is not always effective in leading by example and in providing an effective approach to improving patient safety on a consistent basis. Therefore, this attitude trickles down to the staff and may interfere with their ability to reflect upon their actions and to take even the smallest steps to improve patient safety. It is important to recognize these challenges and to take the steps that are necessary to develop a greater understanding of how managers respond to issues involving patient safety and if their responses are appropriate under the circumstances. Patient safety should be of the utmost importance for all employees, regardless of their level and status; therefore, managers and clinicians should work collaboratively in an effort to evaluate these conditions and to identify areas where there are significant factors associated with growth and change to better accommodate patient needs and to minimize the risks that are associated with patient wellbeing and safety at all times.

Conclusion

In the hospital environment, patient safety is of critical importance in the development of successful approaches to care and treatment to minimize risks and maximize wellbeing. Managers and clinicians must develop an effective understanding of the areas where patient safety is compromised most often in order to ensure that their needs are met without hesitation and all actions are taken to protect patients from unnecessary risks or harm. The survey instrument demonstrated that there is a critical need to develop new protocols and methods that will encourage employees to protect their patients at all times by performing their duties to promote patient care of the best possible quality. In this context, it is observed that patient care and treatment are most effective when errors are minimized and protocols are followed as they were written to ensure that patient safety is not compromised.

Results and Recommendations

Based upon the responses to the survey instrument, the patient safety culture at the organization must be evaluated so that employees and managers are aware of their roles and responsibilities in supporting patient care in order to promote quality and to minimize risks. Therefore, it is recommended that patients should be protected through adherence to all required safety measures at all times, and if errors occur, they must be reported promptly and to the required personnel so that the appropriate course of action may be taken to minimize additional risks. This is a critical component of hospital practice and should be supported by all employees so that patients are not placed in jeopardy under conditions that could have been avoided. This is a critical step towards the development of new perspectives and opportunities to encourage patients to achieve greater recovery outcomes and for clinicians to be recognized for their hard work and dedication to patient safety. The culture surrounding patient safety must be expanded and clearly understood by all employees so that their direction and focus is consistent with the objectives of the organization and its commitment to high quality patient care and treatment at all times. These efforts are instrumental in shaping outcomes and in promoting new directives towards the expansion of knowledge regarding patient care and treatment to increase safety at all times.

References

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Hospital survey on patient safety. Retrieved from http://www.ahrq.gov/legacy/qual/patientsafetyculture/hospscanform.pdf

Armstrong, K.J., and Laschinger, H. (2006). Structural empowerment, magnet hospital characteristics, and patient safety culture: making the link. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 21(2), 124-132.

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