• Commentary
  • Published March 2008

Is yours a learning organization?

Key tenets of improving patient safety at the organizational level include taking a systems approach to safety and improving the culture of safety. Health care systems that embody these concepts are considered "learning organizations"—organizations where leadership behavior supports learning and creates a supportive learning environment, and where concrete processes are in place to facilitate learning and encourage creativity among employees. This article presents examples (primarily from outside health care) to illustrate these concepts and provides an online survey to assess an organization's learning capacity. The United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS) made a pioneering effort to transform into a learning organization through analysis of its own failures.

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