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Having a safe and protective patient environment requires participation and cooperation from all multi-level and multi-disciplinary staff, including front-line personnel as well as upper management. ‘Just Culture’ seeks to improve safety by encouraging complete openness with a learning curve rather than responses based on punitive directives (American Nurses Association , 2010). This approach encourages staff to admit their errors without fear of punishment, thereby promoting a culture where learning from errors is more advantageous than blaming individuals.
When ‘Just Culture’ is applied across an organization, it begins with the frontlines of nursing staff, and proceeds across the continuum of care, all the way to the human resources department. Even with the best of intentions, nurses sometimes make errors. Fortunately, not all errors lead to harm or a sentinel event, but the same error that does not cause harm to one nurse may cause harm for another. It is for this reason that all errors should be reported. In a ‘Just Culture,’ everyone is accountable and shares the responsibility to ensure patient safety and prevent future errors. Organizational leaders must thrive to achieve a commitment-based management system to help learn from the defective environment to motivate team members than to change.
The importance of supporting ‘Just Culture’ is vital to solving problems within our healthcare system. The culture that is outlined in an organization influences productivity and performance and dictates advertising and marketing strategies. Nurses need to feel empowered to come forward when they make a mistake so others may learn from the error, thus preventing the error from reoccurring in the future. A ‘Just Culture’ environment displays that the healthcare organization is actively working to prevent harm from reaching patients, while also working towards the overall improvement of medical care. It is also very important for managers and supervisors to support ‘Just Culture’ because their roles have a major influence on the organization’s safety culture.
That is open and fair and works to design systems that are safer to manage behavioral choices better. To move forward, we must be able to learn from our past. Medical culture must begin analyzing mistakes so that knowledge can be gained and changes made. If mistakes are not analyzed properly, advances in patient safety and care will simply not occur.
American Nurses Association . (2010). Just Culture Position Statement. American Nurses Association.
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