Consistency wins! High reliability= Zero harm

priority“What’s important is not where an organization begins its patient safety journey, but instead the degree to which it exhibits a relentless commitment to improvement.” – TJC, 2016, p.68

The path to zero harm, according to TJC, begins with high reliability.   Reliability in research = consistency.  TJC says for zero harm we as providers must be consistent in these ways:

  • Never be satisfied with your safety record. Always be alert for danger
  • Be alert for early signs of potential danger. Don’t oversimplify your observations
  • Note small changes in the organization as having longer range or unintended effects
  • Commit to resilience so that when errors do happen, you bounce back quickly
  • When confronted by a threat, put its resolution in the hands of those with the most expertise in that area

Using evidence in practice can be part of our “relentless commitment to improvement,” especially when coupled with above 5 actions and can support zero harm to patients.   That evidence can be from research, from process improvement, from evaluation of clinical innovations, or from experts.

For more read TJC’s High Reliability: The Path to Zero Harm online at  

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