Focus on the Positives: Improving Workplace Culture in Healthcare

Focus on the Positives: Improving Workplace Culture in Healthcare

Researchers from Mass General Brigham are recommending a shift in focus when reviewing care delivery in healthcare organizations. Instead of solely focusing on what went wrong, they suggest that organizations should pay attention to what went right. Their study suggests that collecting and sharing positive feedback can foster a better workplace culture and improve mutual appreciation among healthcare team members.

The researchers conducted their study by analyzing positive feedback collected during a mandatory mortality review process involving the care of terminally ill patients. They found that standardized collection and sharing of positive feedback not only increases mutual appreciation but also provides valuable insights into the organization’s culture of teamwork, collegiality, and civility. The findings were published in The Journal of Internal Medicine.

Survey responses from physicians, nurses, advanced practice providers, and respiratory therapists at four Mass General Brigham hospitals were analyzed for the study. The positive feedback focused on exceptional patient and family-centered care, provider expertise and composure, and effective team collaboration. The researchers noted that positive feedback was consistent across different specialties, with the focus varying based on the nature of their work.

Receiving and sharing positive feedback has several benefits for healthcare employees. It helps them feel more valued in their work and can alleviate burnout and attrition. Additionally, the collection and sharing of positive feedback provides leadership with valuable insights into the workplace culture based on the values of their employees.

While safety reporting and mortality reviews are important for improving patient care, this study emphasizes the importance of focusing on the positives. By fostering a culture of appreciation and recognition, healthcare organizations can create a more positive and supportive environment for both patients and providers.

– Research article: The Journal of Internal Medicine
– Mass General Brigham researchers

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