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HQS 509- Five characteristics of Safety Culture

Aug 16, 2023

Quality and safety are enhanced by a strong organizational culture of safety.  Five characteristics of safety culture are discussed on page 241.  

Which of those do you think is the most important – explain why. Support your discussion with an external reference.

Characteristics of a strong safety culture include commitment, communication, shared perceptions, encouragement, and incorporation of nonpunitive systems for reporting and analyzing adverse events (Sollecito & Johnson, 2020, p. 241). Out of all five of these important characteristics, I believe the most important one is shared perceptions of the importance of safety. In order to create a successful, strong organizational culture of safety, team members must share these values. If everyone is on the same page about how important safety is, quality of care and safety will both be enhanced. You should be able to trust that even if you aren’t around, your team will practice the safety standards and procedures since they share the same values. Shared values are the “very foundation of every successful safety culture (Durisko, 2018). As long as everyone is aligned with clearly defined safety standards, it will lead you to success. “From the newest employee to the CEO, every single person must be aligned with these values in order to maintain an impactful safety culture” (Durisko, 2018).

 Five Characteristics of Safety Culture

The five characteristics of a safety culture in any organization include communication, commitment, shared perceptions, encouragement, and the critical analysis of any adverse events. Out of all these, I believe the most important one is communication. The most important part of any organization is efficient communication among the team members.  Communication is always responsible for the successful outcome of any teamwork. Both verbal and nonverbal communication plays a crucial role in the succession of any teamwork. Verbal communication includes spoken words and nonverbal communication comprises the unspoken words and other associated factors which are responsible for the successful completion of any task, this includes body language, voice tone, gestures, and many more.  

In any hospital environment, communication is crucial because, most of the time patients and their family members remain anxious and under stress due to the conditions of the patient. In this scenario, if the medical professionals work as good communicators then this will lead to a decrease in adverse conditions, and patient anxiety and will gradually increase patient satisfaction, internal bonding, work culture, and safety of any hospital organization. Efficient communication in any health organization is very important because this sector is very vulnerable and always associated with the lifetime risk of any patient. Studies have shown that medical errors due to the lack of communication are reported as one of the most important reasons behind the deterioration of the medical safety of the patient (Gleeson et al. 2021, p.11).

Avoidance of miscommunication is very important in maintaining the safety aspects because until the work is clearly communicated, it would not be comprehensible and executable. Studies have shown that communication can be considered a key to the achievement of a healthy, safe, and much increased productive workplace (Lauridsen et al. 2020, p.75).  Effective communication can be helpful in understanding the job roles of every staff member and helpful in reducing unsafe practices and promoting awareness about the problems and hazards the workers usually encounter in work culture. It is also evited that, when all the team members are able to communicate with each other in an effective manner, respectable and coordinated behaviors usually develop among them, which eventually leads them to give and receive feedback, which helps in the improvement of the team productivity. Researchers have shown that effective communication is also associated with an increase in trust, loyalty, innovation technique, and many more, which indirectly aids in providing a safe culture in any organization and reduces any adverse effects (Opper et al. 2019, p.122).


Gleeson, L., O’Brien, G. L., O’Mahony, D., & Byrne, S. (2021). Interdisciplinary Communication in the Hospital Setting: A Systematic Review and Thematic Synthesis of the Qualitative Literature. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice29(Supplement_1), i11-i12.

Lauridsen, K. G., Watanabe, I., Løfgren, B., Cheng, A., Duval-Arnould, J., Hunt, E. A., … & Nadkarni, V. M. (2020). Standardising communication to improve in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Resuscitation147, 73-80.

Opper, K., Beiler, J., Yakusheva, O., & Weiss, M. (2019). Effects of implementing a health team communication redesign on hospital readmissions within 30 days. Worldviews on Evidence‐Based Nursing16(2), 121-130.

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