The hospital should be a safe, healing and humane environment for both patients and health care providers. However, pressures from growing patient acuity, operational constraints, increasing regulatory demands, and communication and staffing issues can diminish the quality of the work environment.

Connor and colleagues evaluated the use of the AACN Healthy Work Environment (HWE) Tool with interdisciplinary staff and found that

It is critical for health care system leaders to actively evaluate work environments to provide optimal patient outcomes. The authors recommend using the HWE tool as an organizational measure to identify substandard behaviors that may affect patients’ outcomes.

See Article, pp 363–371

The leading cause of patient safety incidents in the hospital is communication errors. In particular, postoperative team handover interactions are often written, unstructured, and not done face-to-face, increasing the chance of miscommunication that could lead to unfavorable patient outcomes.

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