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Cultural Humility and Hospital Safety Culture


Hospital safety culture is an integral part of providing high quality care for patients, as well as promoting a safe and healthy environment for healthcare workers. In this article, we explore the extent to which cultural humility, which involves openness to cultural diverse individuals and groups, is related to hospital safety culture. A sample of 2011 hospital employees from four hospitals completed measures of organizational cultural humility and hospital safety culture. Higher perceptions of organizational cultural humility were associated with higher levels of general perceptions of hospital safety, as well as more positive ratings on non-punitive response to error (i.e., mistakes of staff are not held against them), handoffs and transitions, and organizational learning. The cultural humility of one’s organization may be an important factor to help improve hospital safety culture. We conclude by discussing potential directions for future research.

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Correspondence to Joshua N. Hook.

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Conflict of Interest

Joshua N. Hook, David Boan, Don E. Davis, Jamie D. Aten, John M. Ruiz, and Thomas Maryon declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional and/or National Research Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Hook, J.N., Boan, D., Davis, D.E. et al. Cultural Humility and Hospital Safety Culture. J Clin Psychol Med Settings 23, 402–409 (2016).

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  • Culture
  • Humility
  • Safety
  • Hospital
  • Organization