C5: Can building a culture of psychological safety be the key to radically improved patient safety?

Tuesday 21 June 2022 | 15:00-16:00

Format: Presentation
Stream: Safety

Increasing awareness of the connection between work culture and patient safety inspires more and more countries to initiate and expand efforts in this area. The OECD working paper “Culture as Cure” (2020) reflects that. In the new WHO Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030 safety culture is a guiding principle, after a proposal from Norway. This involves safety for both patients and healthcare workers, and as we conceive it, also psychological safety. In our own National Action Plan for Patient Safety and Quality Improvement one of three main areas for increased emphasis and action is work environment and patient safety culture. This session will elaborate why we think this is so important and how it can be translated into practice. Culture development requires efforts on many fronts, and we will share ideas on what can be done at the national and local level. Topics include how patient safety culture and psychological safety can be integrated in traditional, systematic efforts to improve the work environment in health care.

After this session, delegates will be able to:

  • Share evidence for why culture is important for patient safety and thus increase awareness and motivation

  • Understand three core, interrelated factors: building psychological safety, dealing with incivility and creating a culture of respect, and turning a culture of infallibility into a learning culture

  • Take home new ideas and inspiration regarding tools, processes and examples for building workplace cultures that promote patient safety

Joy Buikema Fjærtoft, The Norwegian Directorate of Health; Norway

Kari Annette Os, Norwegian Directorate of Health; Norway