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Treatment Errors in Healthcare: A Safety Climate Approach


  • Eitan Naveh

    () (Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, Technion---Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel)

  • Tal Katz-Navon

    () (The Arison School of Business Administration, The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya 46150, Israel)

  • Zvi Stern

    () (Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem 91240, Israel)


Recent reports on patient safety in healthcare point to the high frequency of treatment errors. This study suggests a new theory of safety climate and brings empirical evidence that helps explain the occurrence of treatment errors. Four safety climate dimensions have been identified. They include employee perceptions of the suitability of the organization's safety procedures for their daily work, employee perceptions of the frequency and the clarity of the safety information distributed by the organization, the way employees interpret their managers' safety practices, and the perceived priority given to safety within the organization. The study was conducted in 21 medical units in a general hospital and the results were cross-validated in 15 units in another hospital. Results demonstrated that perceived suitable safety procedures and frequent and clear information flow reduced treatment errors only when managers practiced safety and through their influence on the level of priority given to safety within the unit. Implications for safety climate theory and for reducing the occurrence of treatment errors by safety interventions are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Eitan Naveh & Tal Katz-Navon & Zvi Stern, 2005. "Treatment Errors in Healthcare: A Safety Climate Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(6), pages 948-960, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:51:y:2005:i:6:p:948-960

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jody Hoffer Gittell, 2002. "Coordinating Mechanisms in Care Provider Groups: Relational Coordination as a Mediator and Input Uncertainty as a Moderator of Performance Effects," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(11), pages 1408-1426, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul S. Adler & Seok-Woo Kwon, 2013. "The Mutation of Professionalism as a Contested Diffusion Process: Clinical Guidelines as Carriers of Institutional Change in Medicine," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(5), pages 930-962, July.


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