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Integrating patient safety in to the culture of the organisation
  1. K Sankaranarayanan*
  1. Correspondence Tawam Hospital (In affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine), PO Box 15258, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi 15258, United Arab Emirates


Tawam Hospital based in the United Arab Emirates is a Johns Hopkins affiliated hospital; Tawam is currently establishing a culture of safety under the auspices of Johns Hopkins. The Comprehensive Unit based Safety Program (CUSP) developed by Hopkins, is a 6-step patient safety program that begins and ends with staff assessments of safety in the workplace. CUSP creates a culture that targets system failures and not individual faults. CUSP focused on fostering the support of senior executive leadership of the hospital. The program is aimed at bridging the gaps between hospital leadership, department chair/unit managers and frontline caregivers. Initially ICU, NICU and Paediatric Oncology Unit were selected as pilot projects to assess the acceptance of the new safety culture philosophy. Two medication errors were reported in the Paediatric Oncology CUSP unit. Since CUSP was in progress in the unit, it motivated the staff members to be open and report the incidents. A CUSP driven investigation of the two incidents, examined the processes and not just people, this effort substantiated the organizations practice of fair and just culture and it instilled confidence on the staffs that this cultural shift was indeed a reality. The two nurses shared their personal experiences with other staff members and became a patient safety advocate of our facility. This incident served as a perfect example to all staffs in the three CUSP units, that there was no substitute to constant learning from defects and a cultural change is evolutionary and revolutionary.

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