What Is a Culture of Safety?

David W. Bates, MD, MSc, Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Define a culture of safety in health care organizations.
  • List at least two signs of a strong safety culture.
  • Discuss how organizations can strengthen the safety culture.

Description: How do you know if you’re working in a culture of safety? In this video, Dr. David W. Bates, a world-renowned leader in patient safety, defines a culture of safety and gives advice to organizations that are hoping to strengthen their safety culture.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you feel comfortable raising concerns in your school or workplace? Why or why not?
  2. When you start working or studying at a new institution, what do you do to learn the culture and norms of the people there?
  3. Have you ever tried to go against the prevalent culture of your school, workplace, or group? Why? What did you learn from it?
  4. Have you ever heard gossip in your school or workplace about your institution treating someone unfairly? How did learning about the event change your attitude or behavior?
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