Healthcare News & Insights

See no evil, speak no evil: The health risk most providers ignore

Just because a health care provider sees something that could harm a patient doesn’t mean they’ll speak up about it.

That’s the sad finding of the study, “The Silent Treatment: Why Safety Tools and Checklists Aren’t Enough to Save Lives.”

According to the researchers, although 85% of health care workers said they had been alerted to a potential patient risk by a safety tool, 58% of those who had received a warning admitted they hadn’t mentioned it to other health staff or resolved the problem.

Respondents cited three main reasons that safety issues were difficult to bring up: Other staffers’ dangerous shortcuts, incompetence and disrespect were seen as “undiscussable.”

While safety devices have an important role to play, their usefulness is hampered when health care staff have such difficulty communicating with each other.

The study was a joint project of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and VitalSmarts.

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