In an editorial recently published in the Journal for Healthcare Quality, Cynthia Barnard, director of quality strategies at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital and author of the editorial notes, “In too many heath care organizations, clinicians are afraid to speak up to challenge colleagues who ‘short-cut important safety systems, who intimidate or retaliate against those less powerful, or who cannot demonstrate adequate expertise to provide safe care.'” Barnard believes the present healthcare culture is not only inadequate but at times toxic which leaves patients vulnerable to medical errors. She led a National Association for Healthcare Quality taskforce last year which calls for the following steps to be taken:
Establish accountability for the integrity of quality and safety systems,
Protect those who report quality and safety findings,
Report quality and safety data accurately
Respond to quality and safety concerns with robust improvement.
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