Joint Commission Outlines 11 Tenets of a Safety Culture

March 10, 2017 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance


​Failure by leadership to create an effective safety culture is a contributing factor to many types of adverse events, said Joint Commission in a March 1, 2017, Sentinel Event Alert. Inadequate leadership can lead to insufficient support of resident safety reporting, intimidation of staff who report events, and failure to address staff burnout. Joint Commission defines safety culture as "the sum of what an organization isand does in the pursuit of safety." The main elements of safety culture, Joint Commission wrote, are "just culture," in which people are "encouraged, even rewarded," for reporting safety information; "reporting culture," in which people report errors and near misses; and "learning culture," which helps establish a willingness to draw the right conclusions from events.

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