• Article
  • May 2, 2017

Patients, Families and Team Members Can Speak Up for Patient Safety

Staff and families want to make a difference.

Early in his career John P. Harding, FACHE, learned the importance of creating an environment where all team members, from leadership to those on the front line, share accountability, and contribute feedback to make improvements in processes and outcomes. Harding, COO at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia, supported the organization's development of a Just Culture—a values-supportive model of shared accountability.

But he has only recently realized the significant role culture plays in making team members feel safe sharing their safety concerns. "Do they think their input will make a difference?" he asks. "Are patients and family members comfortable speaking up?" His advice is to cultivate an environment of safe and open communication and collaboration. "Families and team members will become more engaged, which leads to improved patient and team member safety."

Have a leadership tip or lesson learned? Email magazine@childrenshospitals.org.