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Developing a safe organizational culture

Creating a safe organizational culture in health care settings is important for both patients and employees. All levels of management and staff have a role in developing a nurturing environment where patients and employees can speak up about unsafe practice.

Here are some guiding questions you can use to reflect on your organizational culture:

  • What do your organizational policies say about workplace health and safety?
    • Do these policies address patient safety?
  •       Are safe and healthy behaviours, language and attitudes a priority?  For example: when a staff member doesn’t like a colleague, the expectation is that the staff member needs to be professional with that colleague
    • What strategies do you use to communicate these expectations to your staff?
  • Do all levels of staff/management, consistently demonstrate and model safe and healthy behaviours?
  • Are employees encouraged to identify and report patient safety issues? For example, with colleagues, through an incident reporting system or to management?
  • Is there a safe and accessible method for employees to raise concerns?
  • Do widely accepted practices in the organization support health and safety?

How is patient safety culture developed?

Communication: Create a blame free environment where employees speak up about patient safety issues with a focus on preventing future issues

Role-Modeling: Promote trust by demonstrating a continuous quality improvement of attitudes and actions regarding unsafe practice 

Support: Support employees who speak up

Sharing Information: When relevant, share information to prevent a future situation 

Safe culture fact sheet





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Page last reviewed March 02, 2020