Viewpoint: Resilience stems from hospitals' commitment to safety

True organizational resilience starts with hospitals' commitment to patient safety and high reliability, Press Ganey's Chief Safety and Transformation Officer Tejal Gandhi, MD, wrote in an opinion piece published March 29 in Medpage Today. 

Recognizing and celebrating individual team member resilience is no doubt important, but that doesn't lead to organizational resilience. Rather, a Press Ganey analysis of hospitals' practices found organizational resiliency all comes back to having routine practices in place to prevent and examine errors, with leaders from all levels invested in the commitment to zero harm. 

Hospitals that fared better when the COVID-19 crisis emerged already had reliability and resiliency practices in place, making the increase in energy team members had to expend less jolting, Dr. Gandhi explained. "Within such organizations, safety was a fundamental cultural underpinning, daily management practices such as system-wide tiered daily readiness huddles were routine practice, and universal error prevention behaviors were in place," she wrote. "This can foster an increase in safety culture and workforce engagement." 

High reliability organizations that have adopted practices such as these, in addition to thorough analysis and follow-up when safety issues do arise, are better positioned to navigate crises effectively, "because their leaders and teams have intentionally prepared for unforeseen circumstances," Dr. Gandhi wrote.

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