ANA defines a Culture of Safety as one in which a health care organization

American Nurses Association Stresses Importance of Culture of Safety

ANA defines a Culture of Safety as one in which a health care organization's leaders, managers, and workers are committed to core values and behaviors that emphasize safety over competing goals, and where openness and mutual respect are present when discussing safety concerns and solutions without shifting to individual blame. It also is marked by a learning environment; transparency and accountability; and reliable teams.

The American Nurses Association is asking nurses during National Nurses Week (May 6-12) to help make their workplaces safer, so as to enhance patient care and the nurses' health and well-being. This message is reinforced by the week's theme, "Culture of Safety—It Starts with YOU."

ANA says at 3.4 million strong, registered nurses are the largest group of health care professionals, and they rank sixth among all occupations for the highest rates of musculoskeletal injuries resulting in missed work days -- injuries caused by manually lifting patients. "Injuries to nurses and other health care professionals should not be tolerated as just 'part of the job,'" said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. "In a culture of safety, nurses are encouraged to talk openly about safety issues and their impact on patient care. A 2013 study showed that preventable adverse events accounted for 210,000 to 440,000 deaths of hospital patients every year. Clearly, there is still work to be done, and nurses will play a key role."

ANA defines a Culture of Safety as one in which a health care organization's leaders, managers, and workers are committed to core values and behaviors that emphasize safety over competing goals, and where openness and mutual respect are present when discussing safety concerns and solutions without shifting to individual blame. It also is marked by a learning environment; transparency and accountability; and reliable teams.

ANA is inviting nurses are also encouraged to download the National Nurses Week Resource Toolkit, which includes tips, tools, and resources to promote the annual observance.

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