Many healthcare workers are at risk of being bullied, harassed, demeaned, ignored, or physically assaulted or injured when providing care, making it difficult to provide safe healthcare for patients, according to a new whitepaper from the Lucian Leape Institute  at the National Patient Safety Foundation. The paper notes that both emotional and physical harm occur at higher rates in the healthcare workforce than in other industries, and disrespectful treatment of healthcare employees increases the risk of patient injury.
The authors of the report recommend the following strategies to shape safety culture and bring meaning to workers’ daily activities:
- Strategy 1: Develop and embody shared core values of mutual respect and civility; transparency and truth telling; safety of all workers and patients; and alignment and accountability from the boardroom through the front lines.
- Strategy 2: Adopt the explicit aim to eliminate harm to the workforce and to patients.
- Strategy 3: Commit to creating a high-reliability organization (HRO) and demonstrate the discipline to achieve highly reliable performance. This will require creating a learning and improvement system and adopting evidence-based management skills for reliability.
- Strategy 4: Create a learning and improvement system.
- Strategy 5: Establish data capture, database, and performance metrics for accountability and improvement.
- Strategy 6: Recognize and celebrate the work and accomplishments of the workforce, regularly and with high visibility.
- Strategy 7: Support industry-wide research to design and conduct studies that will explore issues and conditions in health care that are harming our workforce and our patients