Balancing Accountability in Patient Safety

The patient safety movement has evolved with a “no blame” culture in its approach to error management, focusing on system-level failures rather than those of the individual. In their Perspective on Safety, Dr. Christopher Moriates and Dr. Robert M. Wachter say that while the systems approach (think of James Reason’s Swiss Cheese Model) was critical to the cultivation and advancement of the patient safety movement, systems-based solutions may not be adequate for all errors. They call for a balance of the “no blame” culture with individual accountability, and suggest that the interdependencies of these two approaches may result in a more appropriate accountability in patient safety. Read more about their perspective here. Our intention with ASCENT is to exercise patient-centered methodologies to design and develop patient safety solutions that reimagine not just technology innovations, but also roles, responsibilities, and organizational culture.