• Sentinel Event Alerts
  • Published August 2009

Leadership committed to safety.

Despite the past decade's focus on improving patient safety, most health care organizations are still striving to achieve high reliability status—consistently providing high quality care while minimizing adverse events. In this sentinel event alert, the Joint Commission calls for senior health care leaders to establish a culture of safety within their organizations, use just culture principles to establish transparent and fair policies for addressing errors at the sharp end, and maintain robust structures for analyzing and responding to adverse events. Specific suggested actions include involving hospital boards and patients in safety efforts and making safety performance an explicit part of the evaluation for leaders. Adherence to sentinel event alert recommendations is assessed as part of Joint Commission accreditation surveys.

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