Just Culture Enhances Patient Safety in the Healthcare Sector

June 29th, 2017 | In Resources

Blame is at the root of a serious cultural problem in the healthcare sector.

A blame culture discourages professionals from reporting errors and prevents learnings and system improvements. Pressure currently exists to assign individual accountability and responsibility for all errors. Team members can spend a great deal of time trying to cover up mistakes rather than analysing and learning from them because of this. Instead of being concerned with who is to blame in the situation, managers need to concentrate on what they can learn from the errors and ensure methods are in place to prevent them reoccurring. Particularly within the healthcare sector, a blame culture can impair advancements in safety.

People generally find it hard to admit mistakes as it can be considered as a weakness. These attitudes are often used to protect oneself in situations where mistakes are perceived negatively and lead to repercussions. Cultural tendencies such as gossip and appointing scapegoats can be detrimental to a team. These activities only contribute to the development of distrust and the projection of blame onto others. Moving away from these blame cultures is important for your pharmacy to ensure teamwork and unity across your organisation.

Improving the culture of safety within healthcare is essential to prevent errors and improving overall health care quality.

Moving towards a just culture is fundamental to creating this safety environment. In a just culture, purposefully harmful behaviours are met with the appropriate disciplinary actions whereas honest mistakes are treated as learning opportunities. It is finding this delicate balance that will ultimately lead to a more educated, safer work environment. Individuals need to be able to report errors or near misses made in good faith without fear of reprimand or punishment. Instead, when mistakes do come up in the workplace, they need to be met with a positive attitude and treated as learning moments. When this safe environment is created, more members are inclined to report errors which leads to the education of the workforce and most importantly, improved practices.

It is important to note the differences of a just culture to a no blame culture.

No blame culture has been thought of as the ideal in the past but is not sustainable in practice. A no blame culture gives people the false sense that their actions and mistakes have no impact on the patient and organisation. This sense of comfort does not foster change or present opportunities to learn from mistakes made. A just culture, on the other hand, assigns responsibility, but not blame. When a mistake is made, people are more comfortable coming forward and taking responsibility for their actions, knowing they will not be penalised if their mistakes were made in good faith.

Pharmapod gives healthcare professionals the ability to anonymously record all errors and near misses.

It offers real-time insights into where errors are occurring and helps improve efficiencies across the entire organisation by fostering a learning culture. Pharmapod can help your pharmacy create a just culture by allowing for anonymous reporting and detailed learning analytics. To learn more about how you can implement these features in your business, visit https://www.pharmapodhq.com/.


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