Feedback to the front-line staff is a critical component of demonstrating a commitment to safety and ensuring that staff members continue to report safety issues. If the leadership acts upon suggestions, staff members should know their voices were heard and should be recognized for their contributions, especially when the leadership’s response would otherwise be invisible from the front lines. Maintaining a consistent flow of information from senior leadership affirms that every safety initiative is important and not a fleeting “idea of the month.”
- Use Patient Safety Leadership WalkRounds™ as an opportunity to provide feedback to staff, as well as to hear staff suggestions and ideas.
- Ensure that the feedback system reaches all staff members, including those who work on alternate shifts, on weekends, or intermittently.
- Develop a newsletter for communicating safety information, or add a page or column to an existing newsletter. Make sure some messages come directly from senior leaders.
- Recognize and thank staff members in front of their peers for their suggestions.
- Give feedback about each suggestion even if you can’t act on it: make sure the staff member who made the suggestion knows it was investigated and explain why you could not take action.
- Make responses timely — failure to provide prompt feedback will make staff members think you don’t listen or take action.