Just Culture- Building trust for better patient care

Posted Feb 5, 2019

Can you imagine a culture where human errors and threats to patient safety are seen as opportunities to learn about weaknesses in the system? No blame – just learning and improving patient care.

In a just culture, healthcare workers and patients or family members feel comfortable to report errors and threats to patients’ safety. This information is used to learn and make changes to the system to improve patients’ safety.

That’s exactly what the just culture initiative is meant to do. We’re excited to announce a new, shared Alberta resource – the Just Culture website. Initiated by Health Quality Network (HQN) members, this collaborative project supports the development and adoption of a just culture within Alberta’s health system. Just culture practices are already in place at leading organizations such as Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health.  A working group leveraged this work, spending many months creating a common understanding of what just culture is and developing resources to help organizations establish their own frameworks for just culture.

The just culture initiative will foster an atmosphere of trust, where people feel safe discussing quality and safety concerns without fear of blame. When something does go wrong with patient care, healthcare workers will be supported and treated fairly.

The website is a shared resource for healthcare professionals, policy makers, educators, patients and families to learn more about just culture.

What is on this website?

  • A list of organizations committed to creating a just culture, and by extension, a safety culture in our healthcare system.
  • Information about just culture and its relationship to a safety culture.
  • Information about just culture for different healthcare stakeholders including patients and families.
  • Resources that can help organizations establish a framework and actions to support a just culture.
  • An approach and tools for the fair assessment of people involved in a patient safety incident that considers their actions in context (future addition).

Special thanks to the just culture working group for their hard work and collaboration in putting this content together:

  • AHS – Bruce MacLeod and Mona Sikal
  • Covenant Health – Jon Popowich and Owen Heisler
  • CARNA – Shelley MacGregor
  • CPSA – Mike Caffaro
  • STARS – Shannon Moore, Corinne Edwards
  • HQCA – Dr. Ward Flemons, Dale Wright

We invite you to check out the new site and share with others so that we can create a common culture across our health system in the pursuit of safer patient care.