Wikipedia says:  Safety culture includes the attitude, beliefs, perceptions and values that employees share in relation to safety in the workplace. Safety culture is a part of organizational culture and has been described by the phrase “the way we do things around here”.

Prevention of harm, improving the quality of life and quality of care for those living in nursing homes while honoring each resident’s rights and preferences should be on every Administrator’s radar.  There are many nursing homes participating in the CMS and the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) led National Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative.   This program represents the strong commitment we should embrace to address safety issues.

Resident harm events are known to go under-reported.  The office of OIG reports state hospital incident reporting systems only capture about 14% of patient harm events experienced by Medicare beneficiaries.  Other patient safety blogs report: study from the Department of Health and Human Services uncovered that hospitals recognize and report a mere one in seven medical mistakes or care-related accidents involving hospitalized Medicare recipients.

While the statistics vary slightly, it is recognized that there is a problem with underreporting patient errors, particularly if the error results in no harm.  No harm events, close calls, and near misses are likely areas that you can focus and make a giant impact for your residents.  Most errors result from process inefficiencies.  When you dig to the root cause often you will discover a process change that may be the easiest one to address. Below are links to help guide changes you can implement to address resident and patient safety issues while continuing to focus on quality. 

Everyone wins when an organization has a strong safety culture. 



Another guide that is beneficial is The Joint Commission annual Nursing Care Center National Patient Safety Goals.  Attached is a list of this year’s nine goals which focus on elements that require attention and suggestions how to address the problems.



Lisa Chadwick RN, MS
Director Of Risk Management