A Safer Error Reporting Environment Leads to Better Patient Care

November 26, 2019

It would be easy to assume that building an effective team means clamping down on errors, especially in the healthcare setting where the stakes are high. But studies show that higher-performing hospital teams actually reported a higher number of errors than their lower-performing counterparts. 

According to Amy Edmondson, a professor at Harvard Business School, the key is creating a “psychologically safe” environment, in which people feel free to report errors without retaliation or judgement. 

Edmondson has studied the impact of psychologically safe error reporting environments in both hospital settings and the airline industry. She found catching, correcting and reducing errors in a team setting requires open and honest communication at every level of the organization’s hierarchy. She also notes that successful teams use motivation, not fear, to inspire higher standards. 

In can be difficult to build that kind of culture with the ever-present threat of medical litigation. But ISMIE is here to help with an extensive library of resources, from disclosing unanticipated outcomes to process improvement and healthcare team communication. And know that if you are faced with a lawsuit, ISMIE has your back.

For more information, contact our risk management team by email or by phone at 800-782-4767 ext. 3300. 

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