Earlier this month, Radar Healthcare’s CEO, Paul Johnson, gave his view on moving away from a culture of blame, to one where those in the NHS make fuller use of best practice.
“If you think about patient safety, too often the focus is on where things go wrong. We’ve had so many initiatives and acronyms insisting that we must learn from the bad, from what’s not been working so well, that it’s hardly surprising tension develops when the subject arises.”
But what about focusing on excellence reporting instead? This move away from focusing on what’s going wrong to instead celebrating best practice and translating that into a response that can be replicated across more NHS teams. Paul’s passionate about looking at the factors that make something excellent, figuring out how to share that insight and roll it out more widely – to him, that’s the key to improved patient safety.
“To get that insight, you have to involve your people. Engagement is an easy enough word to use, but in reality it has to mean much more than merely giving people the means to be able to report something, good or bad.”
Paul explains how staff must be truly listened to and see their points actioned in order to encourage further feedback and engagement with improvement programmes. Of course, it’s still important to know about anything going wrong and act quickly, but it’s just as crucial to learn what’s going right.
“Giving people the time and space to influence positive change is crucial. Working with our NHS customers and having been fortunate enough to be allowed to observe and monitor and understand how different departments work, my overwhelming impression is that they do an incredible job: it’s a massive challenge just to deliver day to day service. That said, building in capacity to allow staff to report excellence – and making the process simple and intuitive – brings benefits both to the workforce and the organisation, and that shouldn’t be underestimated.”
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