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Culture of Safety

Throughout 2016, ANA committed to raising awareness of the importance of a 'Culture of Safety.' By focusing on a different theme each month, we explored the benefits of a collaborative commitment to safety, and how to achieve it.

What is a 'culture of safety'?

When safety is given prime importance, everything else begins to fall into place. Yet without an awareness of safety within organizations, any other ambitions are pointless. That’s because without proper support of everyone’s health and wellness, it’s impossible to maintain the very best care long-term.

A 'culture of safety' describes the core values and behaviors that come about when there is a collective and continuous commitment by organizational leadership, managers and health care workers to emphasize safety over competing goals.

Why did we choose this topic?

In 1999 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) shocked the nation and issued the clarion call for a safer health care system in its landmark report To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, followed by Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century in 2001. Since then, nurses have been instrumental in the gains made in improving the safety and quality of U.S health care.

However, recent studies suggest U.S. patients experience a far greater number of adverse events each year than even suggested by the IOM. In a time of increased pressure on the health care system, and the prospect of many future challenges, ANA decided that it was vital to address the continuing threats to patient and nurse safety in 2016.

What did the 2016 Culture of Safety Achieve?

ANA’s main aim was to support patient safety and the health and wellness of nurses. During 2016, ANA explored a number of topics relating to a ‘culture of safety’, ranging from fatigue and shiftwork; to culture congruence and leadership.

Through regular webinars with expert speakers, and a wealth of downloadable resources on emerging safety issues, ANA developed a library that can be accessed by nurses seeking support on a wide scope of issues related to patient safety. These range from encouraging nurse leadership in matters of organizational safety, to personal nurse health, to matters of patient protection.

Explore the 2016 Culture of Safety

Explore the whole series, or pick the interests most relevant to you:

Monthly topical focus:

January What is a 'culture of safety'?
February Healthy Nurse
March Fatigue and Shift Work
April Mental Health
May National Nurses Week: Cultural Congruence
June Childhood Bullying
July Emerging Infections
August Leadership: Leading from the Middle
September Transitions of Care
October Data and Systems Thinking
November Hospice and Palliative Care
December Wrap-up of 2016 'Culture of Safety'


Find out more about the focus of our 2017 campaign: Year of the Healthy Nurse.


ANA decided that it was vital to address the continuing threats to patient and nurse safety in 2016.

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