Simply put, ‘culture’ reflects what is at the heart of a health care practice: what it discusses, what it believes in, what it showcases, what it presents to itself and others. Practices that have a culture of quality continue to strive for improvement, evolution and transformation. The feeling is palpable in practices that have a culture of quality because staff are committed to it and strive to ensure that outcomes data reflect this culture. Assessing the culture of quality is important because it is leadership’s role to identify the pervasive culture and perform course correction when necessary to allow practice transformation to occur.
A few questions for leaders to consider in self-assessing the culture of quality include:
- Do regular meetings begin with a story about safety or improvement?
- Do staff members get recognized for their efforts in improvement?
- Do regular meetings include discussions about clinical outcomes (and not just finance)?
- Are clinical metrics/performance data visible to practice staff (on bulletin boards, etc.)?
- Are clinical metrics/performance data presented to patients?
- Are staff members who bring forward ideas for improvement treated with respect and given appropriate recognition?