Abstract

[This article was originally published in Healthcare Quarterly 15(1)

Fostering quality work life is paramount to building a strong patient safety culture in healthcare organizations. Data from two patient safety culture and work-life questionnaires used for Accreditation Canada's national program were analyzed. Strong team leadership was reported in that units were doing a good job of identifying, assessing and managing risks to patients. Seventy-one percent of respondents gave their unit a positive overall grade on patient safety, and 79% of respondents felt that they could often do their best-quality work in their job. However, healthcare workers felt that they did not have enough time to do their jobs adequately and indicated that co-workers were cutting corners in patient care in order to save time. This article discusses engaging both senior leadership and the entire organization in the change process, ensuring supervisory support, and using performance measures to focus organizational efforts on key priorities all as improvement strategies relevant to these findings. These strategies can be used by organizations across sectors and jurisdictions and by healthcare leaders to positively affect work life and patient safety.