Culture of Safety

The concept of safety culture originated outside of healthcare. In studies of high reliability organizations (HRO), organizations consistently minimize adverse events despite carrying out intrinsically complex and hazardous work.

HROs maintain a commitment to safety at all levels, from frontline providers to managers and executives. This commitment establishes a "culture of safety" that encompasses these key features:

  • Acknowledgment of the high-risk nature of an organization's activities and the determination to achieve consistently safe operations
  • A blame-free environment where individuals are able to report errors or near misses without fear of reprimand or punishment
  • Encouragement of collaboration across ranks and disciplines to seek solutions to patient safety problems
  • Organizational commitment of resources to address safety concerns
    Source: AHRQ; Culture of Safety

Every moment matters!

Hartford HealthCare's quality & safety priorities focus every effort on driving Hartford HealthCare towards being a high-performing HRO. Quality and safety program leaders provide an HRO education program under the heading of "Safety Starts with Me," with the following learning objectives:

  • Identify how errors occur and why safety events happen
  • Describe how Hartford HealthCare addresses errors when they occur
  • Explain how safety behaviors prevent errors
  • Commit to practicing safety behaviors in a fair and just culture

Our standard education for HRO training ensures Hartford HealthCare employees are speaking the same safety language, adopting safety habits and deepening their personal commitment to safe practice - all contributing to a collective culture of safety.

Safety CHAMP Card


HRO Training Video

CARe Program


We have adopted the Communication, Apology, Resolution Program (“CARe”), partnering with Risk Management and our legal teams across all Hartford HealthCare clinical settings.

Hartford HealthCare is a national leader in this area and participates in a national collaborative, under the sponsorship of Ariadne Labs and the University of Washington, to test CARe metrics. The CARe model addresses injuries that occur during medical procedures caused by a deviation from standard practice. These events are communicated clearly, with apology and a willingness to provide compensation in cases of a deviation from the standard of care. The goals of the program include restoration of our patients’ trust, reduction of lawsuits and improved patient satisfaction by provid­ing information and support to a patient/family at a difficult time.

The program not only supports Hartford HealthCare’s commitment to high-reliability, but is also consistent with the Hartford Health­Care way of doing the right thing.When medical error or unexpected clinical outcomes occur, Hartford HealthCare is dedicated to communication and transpar­ency.

CARe Program Details