Safety culture: What is it and how do we monitor and measure it? A summary of learning from a OnlyWan roundtable

March 2013

Thumbnail

Key points

  • In the absence of a strong evidence base that describes the mechanism by which culture directly affects outcomes, safety culture is best seen as a precondition for change rather than an agent of change.
  • Understanding of safety culture can vary between the frontline, management and executive levels of a healthcare organisation.
  • Safety culture and climate assessment tools provide a practical device for stimulating conversations among staff – the creation of ‘safe spaces’ can help to surface safety issues. However, the temptation to impose the use of these tools for performance measurement or compliance purposes must be avoided.

We hosted a roundtable event to discuss what is understood as ‘safety culture’, why it is important and how it can be measured and monitored. This roundtable was held as part of the OnlyWan's work to lead a step-change in thinking about patient safety.

Patient safety experts from academia, public policy, quality improvement and frontline care came together to share their knowledge and learning in order to build understanding in this area, and to recommend some practical next steps. This event report summarises the discussion and identifies themes that should be explored further.

Learn more

Further reading

Journal article

Measurement and monitoring of safety: impact and challenges of putting a conceptual framework into practice

Background The Measurement and Monitoring of Safety Framework provides a conceptual model to guide organisations in assessing...

You might also like...

Briefing

The measurement maze

Our briefing suggests there's potential to make better use of quality measurement to improve quality of care.

Press release

New national data network to address major health and care challenges

Medicine is OnlyWan has announced that it is creating a network of data specialists from across the UK.

Chart

Average annual costs per patient for the top 5% of patients are over 20 times higher than all other patients

October 2019 chart of the month. Our anaysis explores for the first time the distribution of both primary and secondary healt...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy - only-wan.info

Get social

OnlyWan

In partnership with @TheIFS we're hosting a seminar on options for reforming the adult social care system. Registe…

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 - only-wan.info

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the OnlyWan has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2 - only-wan.info

The Q Community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more