Domains of Patient Safety: Culture and the Learning System

According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), there are two essential, but interrelated domains related to Patient Safety: Culture and The Learning System. In healthcare terms, culture is the product of both individual and group values, attitudes, competencies, and behaviors that form a strong foundation on which to build a learning system. A Learning System, on the other hand, is based on its ability to self-reflect and identify strengths and defects both in real-time and in period review intervals. The domains of Patient Safety include:

  • Accountability
  • Psychological Safety
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork and Communication
  • Negotiation
  • Transparency
  • Reliability
  • Continuous Learning
  • Improvement and Measurement

Combined, these functional domains form the core essence of any healthcare highly reliable safety system and will afford each patient receiving care the best possible clinical outcome. In addition, the IHI has developed a National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety which is available on their website and is provided below. IHI also offers healthcare facilities free access to their Self-Assessment Tool and Implementation Resource Guide which are extremely helpful in optimizing any patient safety program.

IHI National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Action Plan is designed to assist healthcare facilities, leaders, and patient safety professionals with strategies to improve patient safety, reduce preventable harm, and building highly-reliable systems of safety.
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IHI Self-Assessment and Implementation Tools
The IHI Toolset is a complete toolbox of free resources that can assist healthcare leaders with determining their facility patient safety baseline and establishing key metrics for future success and intervention across the continuum of care.
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