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administrative leaders, patient safety, quality culture, shared decision making



  1. Roberts, Velma PhD, MBA, MS
  2. Perryman, Martha M. PhD, MBA, MT(ACSP)


Approximately 67% of hospital quality indicators require some type of laboratory testing to monitor compliance. Unfortunately, in many hospitals, laboratory data information systems remain an untapped resource in eliminating medical errors and improving patient safety. Using case scenarios, this article demonstrates potential consequences for patient safety and quality of care when information sharing between medical technologists and nurses is not a part of a hospital's culture. The outcome for this patient could have been avoided if a more inclusive health care quality and safety culture existed. Creating a culture for health care quality and safety requires consensus building by clinical and administrative leaders. Consensus building occurs by managing relationships among and between a team of independent, autonomous physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, and health care administrators. These relationships are built on mutual respect and effective communication. Creating a quality culture is a challenging but necessary prerequisite for eliminating medical errors and ensuring patient safety. Physician leaders promoting and advancing cultural change in clinical care from one of exclusive decision making authority to a culture that is based on shared decision making are a necessary first step. Shared decision making requires mutual respect, trust, confidentiality, responsiveness, empathy, effective listening, and communication among all clinical team members. Physician and administrative leaders with a focus on patient safety and a willingness to change will ensure a culture of health care quality and safety.