In high hazard industries can result in devastating losses; thus, one of the crucial aspects that is paramount to ensuring a safe working environment is safety culture. Safety culture is defined as the combination of beliefs and attitudes of employees toward the safety of workers and the overall welfare of the workplace. When errors are made in healthcare, the consequences can be just as severe as in industry and improve the safety of patients and healthcare workers, who face several serious safety and health hazards on a daily basis.
Poor safety culture could result in the wrong medication being prescribed, the wrong site being chosen in surgery, or even the wrong patient being treated altogether. A good safety climate is essential since it can make an internal structure of the hospital or the organization less vulnerable to incidents and accidents, thus increasing the proficiency and efficiency of the facility.
When working with the clients and patients, it is vital to acknowledge the risk nature of an establishment and deduction to be consistent with the safety protocol. In the United States, the load and price have been a leading cause of death among patients from lower socioeconomic status (United States Department of Labor, 2017). This trend was tracked for few years and became a national priority for many medical institutions. Recently, a number of work-related injuries and illnesses among healthcare workers have been escalated.
These incidences have a devastating effect on patient safety and the well-being of workers and their family members. The safety of both groups of people is crucial as they are tightly connected and symbiotically depend on each other by sharing the same organizational safety culture. “With the publication of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) seminal public health report in 1999, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health Care System1, the “quality of care” became the main focus” (United States Department of Labor, 2017).
It is believed that a safer therapeutic environment for patients would also be benign for workers due to the “underlying cultural and systemic issues” they share. (United States Department of Labor, 2017). The latest research related to COVID-19 and its effect on the healthcare system shows that safety practices changed in a positive direction, mainly with the help of authorities and locals who were willing to support staff during the pandemic.
Doctors all over the world were able to receive free food, transport allowances, and staff counseling services. However, nurses scored lower compared with doctors and other clinical staff, which can be explained by unequal accessibility and effectiveness to assist workers (Denning & et al., 2020). According to Denning, factors such as environment, job satisfaction, working conditions, cognitive load, stress, and fatigue, contributed to professional performance and had different effects on staff during the COVID-19. The culture of safety and management perception declined, reflecting the lack of equal access to allowances and services or the ineffectiveness of the above-mentioned factors for different workers.
However, in order to prevent these problems from emerging in the first place, it is important to identify core reasons and causes for their occurrence in the workspace. Using careful analysis and feedback of the log, the workers can create a mind map to prevent mistakes and actions committed before by their colleagues. By involving and developing it, further information and possible solutions to the problems can be found. In the research where safety culture among nurses was an independent variable, safety behavior acted as a positive mediating factor of practiced safety values affecting safety performance (Hu & et al., 2021).
To conclude, cultivating a safe culture is a critical aspect of maintaining workplace safety. In general, most successful safety and health care systems include a similar set of fundamental elements that ensure the overall system’s success. Factors are independent but interrelated and should be scaled and adjusted to the facility’s needs since safety climate is a fundamental aspect of every business and organization.
Denning, M., Goh, E.T., Scott, A., Martin, G., Markar, S., Flott, K., Mason, S., Przybylowicz, J., Almonte, M., Clarke, J., Winter Beatty, J., Chidambaram, S., Yalamanchili, S., Tan, B.Y.-Q., Kanneganti, A., Sounderajah, V., Wells, M., Purkayastha, S., Kinross, J. (2020). What has been the impact of COVID-19 on safety culture? A case study from a large metropolitan healthcare trust. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(19). Web.
Hu, S. H., Wang, T., Ramalho, N. C., Zhou, D., Hu, X., & Zhao, H. (2021). Relationship between patient safety culture and safety performance in nursing: The role of safety behaviour. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 12937. Web.
United States Department of Labor. (2017). Healthcare. Web.