Two Contrasting Organizations
Organizational Culture
What Do We Mean By a Culture of Safety?
The Culture of Healthcare Organizations
What Makes a Culture of Safety?


The IOM report “Crossing the Quality Chasm” has outlined six characteristics of a safe healthcare system. Patient care and treatment should be:

Safe – Effective – Efficient – Patient Centered – Timely – Equitable

This module will introduce the concept of a culture of safety: what it means, and how such a culture can be established. Examples from healthcare and other industries will be used to illustrate key themes, including:

  • Assessing the Culture
  • Teamwork
  • Patient Involvement
  • Systems
  • Openness/Transparency
  • Accountability
Click here if you’d like to see the full list of objectives.

Throughout this module we will use two clinical sites, Healthy Home Hospital (HHH) and Casual Care Clinic (CCC), to illustrate differences in cultures. We will also meet Tim, who previously worked for CCC and is now employed at HHH. Through his eyes we hope to illustrate the differences between institutional cultures.

Module Authors
Beau Wiseman, MEd
Victoria S. Kaprielian, MD




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Patient safety module series used with permission from Duke University
Duke University 2002-2021