Operating within a safe environment, physically and mentally, is crucial to individual preparedness for the manual and cognitive challenges characterizing health care workflows. Workforce safety recognizes the imperative to protect workforce members from physical harm so that they can deliver high-quality care, and recognizes the vital importance of psychological and emotional safety for engaging, communicating, and collaborating effectively to safely deliver patient care.
As described in Safer Together: A National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety, health care organizations across all care settings can optimize workforce performance and safe, high-quality outcomes by:
- Ensuring work environments are free from physical hazards
- Seeking to learn from workforce harm events in parallel to patient harm events
- Shaping a culture of safety for both patients and the workforce
- Creating psychologically safe work environments
- Fostering perceptions of belonging in the workforce through activation of a just culture at all levels
- Nurturing a bias-free environment supported by diversity, equity, and inclusion across the workforce at all levels, which contributes to psychological and emotional safety and belonging
IHI aims to integrate workforce safety, workforce well-being, and patient safety, grounded in evidence and the science and methods of improvement, to ensure that every patient receives safe, reliable, effective, and equitable care from a fully-enabled health care workforce.
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Related Improvement Areas
IHI aims to advance a total systems approach to safety, grounded in evidence and the science and methods of improvement, to ensure that every person receives safe, reliable, effective, and equitable care.
Workforce Well-Being and Joy in Work
The well-being and engagement of the health care workforce impacts health care quality, workforce safety, patient safety, and patient experience.
Expertise in Improving Health and Health Care
IHI Patient Safety Congress
The IHI Patient Safety Congress on May 14–16, 2024, is the must-attend conference for those who continue to shape smarter, safer, more equitable care for patients wherever it’s provided — from the hospital and outpatient settings to the home.Learn More