Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Safety Concerns

University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising patient safety concerns.

Too often, patient safety concerns about their care in medical facilities has gone unreported or under-reported. In response, there is new research about how to fix this.

As Johns Hopkins reports:

“In a case study published online last week in Academic Medicine, an international team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising concerns. The study identifies measures to help health care organizations encourage their employees to speak up and recommends a systematic approach to promoting employee voice that appears to have already made a positive impact at Johns Hopkins.”

“It’s not enough just to say you’re committed to employee voice. Health care staff must genuinely feel comfortable speaking up if organizations are going to provide safe, high-quality care,” says Mary Dixon-Woods, D.Phil., M.Sc., a professor at the University of Cambridge, director of THIS Institute (The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute) and the study’s lead author. “Even when reporting mechanisms are in place, employees may not report disruptive behaviors if they don’t feel safe in doing so and don’t think their concerns will be addressed.”

“Because health-care workers often are reluctant to raise concerns about co-workers and unsafe behaviors, leadership at Johns Hopkins Medicine sought to encourage employee voice in the organization by first identifying barriers. To address the issues raised in these interviews, Johns Hopkins leaders developed, implemented, and in some cases expanded a series of interventions from fall 2014 through summer 2016. These interventions included clear definitions of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, well-coordinated reporting mechanisms, leadership training on having difficult conversations, and consistent consequences for disruptive behaviors.”

 

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Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Concerns
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