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Posted on 25 Mar 2022
Safety cultures

Safer Care Victoria is offering a Just Culture toolkit to improve safety culture at participating services and therefore improve patient experiences and outcomes. 

What is Just Culture? 

Just Culture is part of safety culture with the major features being:  

  • a systems-thinking mindset to adverse event review 
  • provision of a psychologically safe workplace where employees feel safe to report adverse events and near misses  
  • managing the innate cognitive biases we all have as part of being human 
  • the concept of shared accountability between the organisation and an  individual when adverse events occur.

Why is safety culture important? 

Patients continue to be harmed at unacceptable rates in Australian health services. As per the 2018 Grattan Institute report, Safer Care Saves Money, one patient is harmed from every nine admissions.  

This harm is expensive for patients and the healthcare system. The total cost to health services for patient complications in Australia has been estimated at $5 billion per year.   

Promoting safety as core business, with active participation at all levels and a systems lens applied to adverse event review, has reduced incidents in other safety critical industries such as aviation, transport, mining, engineering. Healthcare is lagging behind.

Cultural change will not happen without engagement and modelling by senior leadership, at an executive level.

Positive safety cultures are consistently associated with a range of patient outcomes including reduced mortality rates, falls, hospital acquired infections, and improved patient satisfaction.  

Just Culture toolkit: What is included? 

Safer Care Victoria will train senior leaders and other nominated Just Culture champions within your health service and show them how to facilitate learning for adults. We will also provide resources for senior leaders to train their own staff in Just Culture, including application of Just Culture principles to daily work and adverse event reviews. 

How can I find out more?

For an information and application package, email irtreviews@safercare.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated: 31 Mar 2022