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An Introduction to Clinical Governance and Patient Safety$
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Elizabeth Haxby, David Hunter, and Siân Jaggar

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558612.001.0001

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Safety, systems, complexity, and resilience: What makes organizations safe?

Safety, systems, complexity, and resilience: What makes organizations safe?

Chapter:
(p.453) Chapter 51 Safety, systems, complexity, and resilience: What makes organizations safe?
Source:
An Introduction to Clinical Governance and Patient Safety
Author(s):

Kieran Sweeney

Mike D Williams

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558612.003.0051

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.

Keywords:   healthcare organizations, complex adaptive system, complex organizations, healthcare systems, patient safety

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