Creating Highly Reliable Health Care: How Reliability-Enhancing Work Practices Affect Patient Safety in Hospitals

ILR Review, 69 (4), 911-938

41 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2019

See all articles by Timothy J. Vogus

Timothy J. Vogus

Vanderbilt University - Organizational Behavior

Dawn Iacobucci

Vanderbilt University - Marketing

Date Written: August 24, 2016

Abstract

Hospitals are increasingly looking to new work practices and processes to reduce the epidemic of medical errors. The authors examine one such innovative approach emulating high-reliability organizations (e.g., nuclear power plants) that use a combination of specific work practices and behavioral processes to detect and adapt to unexpected events to operate in a nearly error-free manner. They explore whether and how reliability-enhancing work practices (REWPs) help enable such processes and improve performance (i.e., reduce errors). Using survey and archival data from 1,685 registered nurses and 95 nurse managers in 95 hospital nursing units, the authors examine how REWPs affect a set of attitudinal (affective commitment and organizational citizenship behavior) and discursive (respectful interaction and mindful organizing) processes and, in turn, patient safety. They find the greater use of REWPs are directly and indirectly (through respectful interaction and mindful organizing) associated with fewer medication errors and patient falls. In contrast, organizational citizenship behavior was associated with more medication errors and patient falls.

Keywords: high reliability, mindful organizing, patient safety, reliability-enhancing work practices

Suggested Citation

Vogus, Timothy J. and Iacobucci, Dawn, Creating Highly Reliable Health Care: How Reliability-Enhancing Work Practices Affect Patient Safety in Hospitals (August 24, 2016). ILR Review, 69 (4), 911-938, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3425939

Timothy J. Vogus

Vanderbilt University - Organizational Behavior ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Dawn Iacobucci (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Marketing ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
7
Abstract Views
125
PlumX Metrics