Safety, systems, complexity, and resilience: What makes organizations safe?
This chapter proposes that when viewing the activities of a hospital, it is helpful to see the organization as a complex adaptive system (CAS). Complex organizations are made up of inter-relating subunits, and those subunits, in turn, consist of micro-communities of individuals. The reciprocal interaction of these micro-communities co-creates the culture of these subunits and, by scaling up, the culture of the organization itself. Healthcare organizations can be viewed as complex adaptive systems, requiring the application of systems thinking, and safety is seen as an emergent property of the interrelationship of subunits and the individuals within them.
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