Where is the evidence that 'blame' works?
If so many medical people profess to be evidence based and blame is so rampant within health and social care where is the evidence that blame works?
Atrainability have just been asked to help a major NHS trust to sort out their blame culture which is proving very damaging to an already over-stressed, over-worked, under-resourced Emergency Department.
The atmosphere is apparently poisonous and learning from error consists of pointing the finger at a colleague who didn't do something appropriate. Learning from success isn't an option it seems simply because no one even considers it.
We believe strongly that explaining human fallibility is a crucial aspect of building an understanding and an awareness that most error is not caused by bad people but by genuine, hard-working, caring people, working under difficult conditions.
We ask the question – if we provide training for you, what would success look like?
One answer would be that team members started looking after themselves and each other. Although working conditions are typical of an over stressed department, the benefits of taking even short breaks to refresh, clear the mind and to replenish fluids and blood sugar levels cannot be overestimated. Furthermore, appreciating how knowledge-based, skill-based, rule-based errors originate is the route to an open reporting culture, where people feel safe both personally and collectively.
Other signs of success could be:
- A team that shows compassion, not just to its patients but to each other.
- A change in the flavour of incident reporting from finger-pointing to understanding, learning and providing solutions.
What would success look like for you?