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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 25(6)

Organisational culture and safety: an interdependent relationship

Geoff Clark

Australian Health Review 25(6) 181 - 189
Published: 2002


Since the early 1990s,a body of evidence regarding the lack of quality in health care has emerged in many countries including Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States of America. It has brought the subject of health care safety to the top of the policy agenda and the forefront of the public debate worldwide. Studies show not only that failure of quality occurs, but also that it inflicts harm and wastes resources on a large scale. Experts in risk management, both within and outside the health care industry, emphasize system failures and system-driven errors over direct human error, and accentuate the crucial role that organisational culture plays in ensuring safety. Examination of the interrelationship between culture and safety in organisations demonstrates that organisational relationships influence both culture and safety and that effective two-way communication is pivotal to the success of the development of a corporate 'safety culture'.

Full text doi:10.1071/AH020181

© AHHA 2002

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