The Joint Commission issued a new Sentinel Event Alert focused on the role that leadership plays in developing a safety culture within a healthcare organization.

Sentinel Event Alert #57 states: “In any health care organization, leadership’s first priority is to be accountable for effective care while protecting the safety of patients, employees, and visitors. Competent and thoughtful leaders contribute to improvements in safety and organizational culture. They understand that systemic flaws exist and each step in a care process has the potential for failure simply because humans make mistakes.”

The alert defines safety culture as “the sum of what an organization is and does in the pursuit of safety” and describes key components including just culture, reporting culture and learning culture. The document outlines 11 actions that leaders can take to transform an organization’s safety agenda and perpetuate advancement toward high reliability.

To read the full text of the Sentinel Event Alert, click here,

To download a PDF of the infographic detailing the 11 Tenets of a Safety Culture, click here.