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The Culture of Patient Safety

Mustard, Lewis W. PhD

JONA's Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation: December 2002 - Volume 4 - Issue 4 - p 111-115

Hospital patient safety culture is examined as a critical component of quality where preventable and identifiable adverse and sentinel events should not occur. The author, a former hospital executive, illustrates how culture helps illuminate patient safety practices using examples from hospital situations he encountered as a consultant. These cases demonstrate the hospital nurses’ focuses on job requirements and training as opposed to actually doing the “right thing” at the “right time.” The nurse hospitalist, an advanced practice nurse, is proposed as a daily teacher and facilitator for hospital nurses based on a curriculum of day-to-day examples of good patient care through training and observation of patient care as it is being given.

Lewis W. Mustard, PhD, is CEO, Healthcare Negligence Control, Inc., Chapel Hill, NC.

Corresponding author: Lewis W. Mustard, PhD, Healthcare Negligence Control, Inc, PO Box 2442, Chapel Hill, NC 27515 (e-mail:

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.