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The importance of a safety culture in hospitals

Oregon residents may be interested in a recent study that indicates that the safety culture of a hospital or medical facility can have a significant impact on patient outcomes. Researchers looking at 12 safety culture factors in seven hospitals in Minnesota discovered that complication rates and surgical site infections after colon surgeries were influenced by several of the safety culture factors.

Of the 12 factors considered, which included aspects like teamwork, feedback about errors and responses to errors, 10 correlated with how likely a patient was to experience a surgical site infection after a procedure. There were two factors that did not appear to correlate, and they were staffing and how patient care was handed off from one staffing group to another.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, is one of the first of its kind, and it appears to indicate that the ability and willingness to learn from mistakes and the desire to use the best safety practices may be an important part of improving patient outcomes. For the most part, previous studies have focused on the effect that different types of medications and procedures had on patients, not the effect of an organization’s safety culture.

Surgical errors can have a significant and detrimental effect on a patient. It is not uncommon for individuals to develop new conditions or have their existing condition get worse due to these medical mistakes. If an individual has been hurt due to a doctor’s or medical facility’s negligence, a lawyer could explain options for legal recourse.