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Patient Safety Starts with Nurse Managers

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, October 2, 2012

Nurses were first surveyed on their work environments and the perceived behavioral integrity of their managers. Researchers then examined the "psychological safety" of the work environment by gauging nurses' responses to the statement: "If you make a mistake in this team, it is often held against you."

Researchers tried to determine whether nurse leaders practiced what they preached about safety by asking nurses whether they agreed that "My head nurse always practices the safety protocols he/she preaches." Nurses were also asked to respond to this: "In order to get the work done, one must ignore some safety aspects."

Six months later, the research team examined the relationship between fostering safety and reporting patient errors and found that "head nurse behavioral integrity for safety positively relates to both team priority of safety and psychological safety.

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