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Patient Safety Starts with Nurse Managers

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

In turn, team priority of safety and team psychological safety were, respectively, negatively and positively related with the number of treatment errors that were reported to head nurses."

In other words, if managers act like they prioritize safety instead of just talking about it, their nurses will, too.

Just last month I wrote that building nurse empowerment is pointless if efforts to do so fall on deaf ears. I argued that "it's up leaders to put their money where their mouth is and make sure that nurses feel safe enough to suggest changes and raise concerns."

Now there's evidence that patient safety actually improves when leaders live up to the standards that they espouse.

When patient safety mistakes happen, I can imagine how hard it must be for leaders to step back, take a deep breath, and not act in a retaliatory way against the nurse who committed the error.

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