Culture of Safety

Safety culture is defined as shared values, attitudes and patterns of behaviors among individuals or within groups of an organization (Halligan et al., 2011) in which implies organization’s safety programme. No doubt that safety culture is a necessity for any health care organization to optimize its safety and deliver a good and safe care to its patients.

The question is how can organizations improve their safety culture. A safety culture consists of three main pillars including trust, report and improvement (Tsao et al., 2015). Although keeping a high level of each pillar is a constant challenge, it does contribute to patient safety improvement.

The SLIPPS project aims to work across these components of safety culture by trusting student’s observations and motivating them to describe and report their experiences. Providing them an easy, user-friendly, and anonymous tool, which allows them to describe the situations in their own words. An international group of researchers specialized in patient safety research and education will conduct a content analysis on reports and develop a range of educational resources, which will be freely available to help encourage improved safety culture. The team will also offer feedback to the health and social care organizations involved.

We hope that this project can improve safety culture and embed a culture of close observation and learning into health care situations and facilitate reporting, all over the Europe and hopefully eventually around the world. Our mission is to follow the steps of the Institute of Medicine’s report in 1999 called “To Err is human; building a safer Health System” and advocate a no blame culture. We believe that every error and near miss situation is an opportunity to learn from.



Halligan, M. & Zecevic, A. 2011, “Safety culture in healthcare: a review of concepts, dimensions, measures and progress”, BMJ quality & safety, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 338-343.

Institute of Medicine. 1999. To err is human: Building a safer health system. Washington. DC: National Academies Press.

Tsao, K. & Browne, M. 2015, “Culture of safety: A foundation for patient care”, Seminars in pediatric surgery, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 283-287.


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