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Why Is Psychological Safety So Important in Health Care?

​Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School

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Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • List four outcomes associated with a psychologically safe work environment.​
  • Describe organizational and individual benefits associated with learning, risk management, innovation, and job satisfaction in health care.

Description: Why is psychological safety in health care so important? In a short video, Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School, describes four specific outcomes associated with a psychologically safe work environment.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you agree with each of Amy Edmondson’s observations about the benefits of a psychologically safe work environment? Why or why not?
  2. In your experience, how have environments in which you’ve worked contributed to or detracted from the four outcomes Amy Edmondson mentioned? What other factors besides psychological safety influenced these outcomes?
  3. Amy Edmondson talks about the importance of individual and organizational learning. In your experience, what is the relationship between these two types of learning? How does individual learning become organizational learning, and vice versa?
  4. Amy Edmondson describes “the very real risks that are always present in the health care setting.” What are these risks?
  5. Amy Edmondson talks about employee retention as being valuable to patients, organizations, and colleagues. What do you see as the benefits for each group?
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