Topic 2: Health Care Culture





 Topic 2: Health Care Culture

Culture can be described as incorporated patterns of human behavior comprising thoughts, language, communications, beliefs, customs, values, actions, and institutions of ethnic, racial, social, or religious groups. All organizations have a defined culture which includes the practices, values, and expectations that inform and direct the actions of all employees (Henke et al., 2019). A culture is developed through constant and reliable behaviors rather than policy documents. In this regard, this paper will describe health care culture, including a culture of excellence and safety, principles to create a culture of excellence and safety, and how the Christian worldview can enhance ethical practices.

                                                         Health Care Culture

A healthcare culture defines human behavior patterns comprising the thoughts, language, communicatio

ns, customs, values, beliefs, actions, and institutions of the health care system. Health care system’s behavior patterns that are acquired and socially conveyed include language, customs, and traditions. Henke et al. (2019) explain that healthcare culture champions healthy, equitable communities and affects decision-making in private and public sectors. In a healthcare culture, every person is given a chance to make decisions that promote healthy lifestyles.

Culture of Excellence

A culture of excellence refers to one that aims for the highest quality results and will not give in for average results. It involves focusing on accomplishing results that have never been attained, achieving extraordinary results, and breaking records (Arthurs et al., 2018). A culture of excellence involves and empowers all the employees in an organization to think divergently in a modern vision that suits the challenging and evolving times the organization faces. Creating a culture of excellence in healthcare necessitates transformational leadership, strategic planning, and effective change management.

Culture of Safety

A culture of safety refers to a culture where an organization’s common values, perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes develop a commitment to safety and efforts to mitigate harm. The safety culture concept was derived outside health care in high-r

Topic 2 Health Care Culture

eliability organizations that constantly reduce adverse events in spite of engaging in complex and risky work (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ], 2019). High reliable organizations are highly dedicated to maintain high safety levels by all employees. The commitment creates a culture of safety characterized by a blame-free working environment where employees can report errors or near misses with no fear of punishment or reprimand (AHRQ, 2019). An organization that fosters a safety culture acknowledges the high-risk nature of its activities and the efforts to attain constantly safe operations. It encourages collaboration across disciplines and ranks to identify solutions to safety challenges.

Principles for Building a Culture of Excellence and Safety

A culture of excellence and safety in healthcare organizations can be created through various principles, including communication, training, and rewards and incentives. Effective communication is essential to creating and upholding a culture of excellence and safety (Antonsen, 2017). Organizational leaders should support open and respectful communication among employees and encourage them to give and receive constructive feedback.  Effective communication is vital in supporting teamwork and coordination in the organization.  An organization’s staff become conversant with and part of its safety culture through communication (Antonsen, 2017). Ineffective communication from top-level leaders can lead to leaders saying one thing but doing something different. Consequently, the staff use a lot of their time and energy trying to understand the contradictory messages conveyed by their leaders. The unceasing discrepancies in formal and informal communications can contribute to the staff having a pessimistic perceptive of formal communications. This can cause futile formal communication and weaken an organization’s goal of maintaining a culture of excellence and safety. In a culture of excellence and safety, communication takes top-down and upward patterns, encouraging employees to speak up on matters compromising safety in the organization.

Studies on high-reliability organizations reveal that they outdo other organizations at training their staff to identify inconsistencies and potential problems. Besides, the organizations utilize more funds on training to empower the employees to identify and respond to these problems (AHRQ, 2019). Training empowers the employees to take the necessary actions when they identify safety problems. Recurrent training on excellence and safety is essential to creating that culture. Employees should be trained in safety interventions. Besides, training should be used to motivate employees to foresee any adverse event, eliminate it if possible, or mitigate their adverse impact if not preventable (AHRQ, 2019). Retraining should be provided when safety problems are identified in an organization without imposing penalties or stigma on the employees.

Rewards and incentives are vital in creating and maintaining a culture of excellence and safety in an organization. In high-reliability organizations, employees are rewarded for their efforts in safety improvements interventions, whether individually or as members of safety committees and safety improvement teams (Antonsen, 2017). Rewards and incentives are a form of recognition, formal or informal. However, the value of safety is disseminated through the organization’s reward system. Besides, an organization can maintain a safety culture by clearly displaying and rewarding safety results at all levels. Rewards communicate to the employees on the performance the organization wants to be maintained.

Role of Various Stakeholders in Improving Health Care Culture

Both internal and external stakeholders of healthcare organizations have a responsibility to improve healthcare culture. Internal stakeholders, including healthcare providers, have a role in providing patients with high-quality care and implementing interventions to reduce healthcare costs to make healthcare accessible to all populations (Angell, 2018). External stakeholders, including patients, have a role in improving health care culture by engaging in healthy lifestyle practices to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare expenses. In addition, pharmaceutical companies should improve health care culture by ensuring they manufacture safe pharmaceutical products to minimize adverse drug events and foster better health outcomes (Angell, 2018). Insurance providers’ role in enhancing healthcare culture includes offering affordable insurance covers to increase the accessibility of healthcare to all persons irrespective of their economic status. The policymakers as external stakeholders have a role in developing policies that will increase access to healthcare for citizens.

Use of CWV Principles by Health Care Organizations to Enhance Ethical Practices

The CWV principles that can be applied by healthcare organizations to better their ethical practices comprise solidarity, human dignity, and the common good. The principle of human dignity is used to support Christians’ belief that every life is sacred (Cuellar De la Cruz & Robinson, 2017). Although technology and medical treatments can improve a patient’s dignity, some forms take away their dignity. Organizations should avoid persistence on burdensome healthcare technology even when a patient may legally wish to forgo it to preserve their human dignity. Solidarity refers to living and dying in a community that understands each person’s value to society. Christians care for their neighbor’s health not only because they see a person as having dignity worthy but also because their lives are connected in a way that their lives depend on each other (Cuellar De la Cruz & Robinson, 2017). Consequently, health providers should make patients understand that they are valued in their community. The principle of the common good refers to the benefit of all. Health organizations should seek to provide health care for the benefit of all populations and avoid the tendency to be caught up in their interests and concerns.

Integration of Faith Learning and Work at GCU to Improve Health Care Culture

Faith, learning and work can be incorporated into patient care settings through research to produce new information and knowledge on interventions that can be employed to improve a culture of healthcare. Research can also generate knowledge on interventions that can help increase healthcare access to all populations and improve population health outcomes. Faith and work can be integrated to educate communities on changing lifestyle practices to promote better health and reduce the risk of diseases and injury.


A healthcare culture refers to a culture that supports good health and wellbeing to prosper across geographic, demographic, and social domains. Organizations that foster a safety culture commit their resources to address safety concerns. Creating and continually enhancing a culture of excellence and safety in a health care organization is crucial to prevent and mitigate errors in patient care and improve the quality and safety of health care services. Communication, training, and rewards and incentives can create a culture of excellence and safety in healthcare organizations.




Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2019). Culture of safety. PSNet.

Angell, M. (2018). Health care reform: duties and responsibilities of the stakeholders. https://sites.

Antonsen, S. (2017). Safety culture: theory, method, and improvement. CRC Press.

Arthurs, K., Bell-Gordon, C., Chalupa, B., Rose, A. L., Martinez, D., Watson, J. A., & Bernard, D. P. (2018). A culture of nursing excellence: A community hospital’s journey from Pathway to Excellence RG to Magnet RG recognition. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice8(5).

Cuellar De la Cruz, Y., & Robinson, S. (2017). Answering the call to accessible quality health care for all using a new model of local community not-for-profit charity clinics: A return to Christ-centered care of the past. The Linacre Quarterly84(1), 44–56.

Henke, R. M., Head, M. A., Kent, K. B., Goetzel, R. Z., Roemer, E. C., & McCleary, K. (2019). Improvements in an organization’s culture of health reduces workers’ health risk profile and health care utilization. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine61(2), 96-101.


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I understand this is a lot of information to cover in 5 weeks, however, the Bible says in Philippians 4:13 that we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us. Even in times like this, we are encouraged by God’s word that we have that ability in us to succeed with His strength. I pray that each and every one of you receives strength for this course and life generally as we navigate through this pandemic that is shaking our world today. Relax and enjoy the course!

Hi Class,

Please read through the following information on writing a Discussion question response and participation posts.

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Important information on Writing a Discussion Question

  • Your response needs to be a minimum of 150 words (not including your list of references)
  • There needs to be at least TWO references with ONE being a peer reviewed professional journal article.
  • Include in-text citations in your response
  • Do not include quotes—instead summarize and paraphrase the information
  • Follow APA-7th edition
  • Points will be deducted if the above is not followed

Participation –replies to your classmates or instructor

  • A minimum of 6 responses per week, on at least 3 days of the week.
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  • Each response needs to be at least 75 words in length (does not include your list of references)
  • Responses need to be substantive by bringing information to the discussion or further enhance the discussion. Responses of “I agree” or “great post” does not count for the word count.
  • Follow APA 7th edition
  • Points will be deducted if the above is not followed
  • Remember to use and follow APA-7th edition for all weekly assignments, discussion questions, and participation points.
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  • Student paper example
  • Citing Sources
  • The Writing Center is a great resource