The recently released Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert Issue 57 emphasizes that the health of an organization's safety culture is determined by leadership's commitment to making it a priority. Effective leaders understand that systemic flaws exist, and that each of the steps in a care process has the potential for failure simply because humans make mistakes.
The Alert describes actions leaders can take, and resources they can use, to help health care organizations establish and continuously improve upon key components of safety culture.
Safety culture is the product of individual and group beliefs, values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behavior that determine an organization's commitment to quality and patient safety. According to the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, insufficient support for reporting patient safety events, intimidation of staff who report events, and refusal to consistently prioritize and implement safety recommendations are some of the factors that contribute to poor safety culture.