Nurse association promotes 'culture of safety' in healthcare

In the wake of a new report that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., the American Nurses Association is urging healthcare professionals to keep safety in mind during National Nurses Week, which begins today.

This year's theme is "Culture of Safety--It Starts With You," according to an announcement from ANA. The theme touches on both patient safety and safety for nurses themselves, who are at a high risk for workplace injury, especially if they're new to the job, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

"In a culture of safety, nurses are encouraged to talk openly about safety issues and their impact on patient care," said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, Ph.D., R.N., in the announcement. "Injuries to nurses and other healthcare professionals should not be tolerated as just 'part of the job.'"

ANA defines a "culture of safety" as a healthcare organization that promotes:

  • A commitment to core values and behaviors that emphasize safety
  • Openness and respect when discussing safety concerns and avoiding blaming individuals
  • Transparency and accountability
  • An active learning environment
  • Reliable work teams

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- check out the "Creating a Culture of Safety" guide (.pdf)
- visit the National Nurses Week website

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