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Safety culture healthcare services

DNV GL mixed methods safety culture assessment in healthcare - utilizing the strengths of your organization to improve quality and safety

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DNV GL can help you acknowledge and utilize your organizational, unique strengths to overcome challenges to improve quality and safety using our mixed methods safety culture assessment.

Why is safety culture assessment important?

Today’s healthcare organizations face significant challenges. Financial pressures and the demands for improved quality and new care models mean that business as usual is not an option. Yet despite the best efforts of managers and clinicians, many hospitals and health systems still struggle to create lasting change. Desirable change is much more likely to be sustained if the change is initially developed by reinforcing strengths and positivity of practices created on the healthcare floor. Over time, this approach is believed to overcome organizational weaknesses, improve patient safety and support healthcare leaders in dealing with today’s pressures and demands.  Unfortunately, it is not always clear or straight forward for healthcare organizations to acknowledge and, more importantly, utilize their own organizational strengths for quality and safety improvement. Healthcare culture has been having a strong focus on achieving perfection and refusing the fact that to err is human. As a result, counting errors has been more natural than counting good practices for organizational learning. A cultural shift is thus urgently needed. This is the reason safety culture assessment is an important step to understand both the strengths and areas for improvement of your organization so that an appropriate strategy can be developed and implemented for lasting change.

What we offer

DNV GL can help healthcare organizations:

  • to assess their (own) safety culture using our scientifically tested mixed methods,
  • to interpret results and highlight the strengths and areas for improvement,
  • to utilize the findings for creating lasting change

Our safety culture programmes

We offer a systematic and comprehensive way (i.e. a sequential mixed methods approach) for healthcare organizations to make sense of their complex culture through quantitative and qualitative data and to identify practical solutions. The mixed methods approach has been tested in seven hospitals in Europe and China. We offer two stand-alone options in our programmes: (1) General Training for healthcare organizations to understand safety culture, assess their own safety culture using mixed methods and to use results for quality improvement.  (2) Full assessment of safety culture by DNV GL experts using mixed methods (a survey and interviews or focus groups). The assessment results will be presented in a workshop facilitated by DNV GL. The workshop will also be used to support organizations in selecting and using appropriate improvement methodology for action planning (tailor-made).

Both options can be followed up by:

1. DNV GL review of healthcare organizations’ action plan 

2. DNV GL provides tailor-made training based on the assessment results (e.g., leadership training, teamwork training personalized to the respective hospital) 

3. DNV GL to facilitate a workshop that invites multiple organizations for success stories, pitfalls, and barriers in assessing safety culture and applying improvement methodology


Download our safety culture position paper here 


“In the end, culture will trump rules, standards and control strategies every single time, and achieving a vastly safer [healthcare system] will depend far more on major cultural change than on a new regulatory regime.” 

Berwick D. , President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement