I attended a seminar today by Prof.Mary Dixon-Woods entitled “What do we know about how to improve quality and safety in hospitals, and what do we still need to learn?”Prof. Dixon-Woods talked about ways of avoiding preventable minor disasters resulting in fatalities within hospitals. One suggestion was the standardisation of hospital medical equipment was suggested to minimise errors in their usage. It all came down to the triage between intelligence (the investigation into the quality and safety, and the ways to improve the two), hospital systems and the culture and behaviour within hospital care. I think that changing the culture and behaviour within a healthcare environment is the foundation for any improvement in the quality and safety of care. Intelligence alone isn’t helpful if the attitude to implement positive change is lacking among staff on different levels. But it is difficult and definitely something that will not happen over a short time-span. There’s a piece by Prof. Dixon-Woods and others further discussing the topic called “Overcoming challenges to improving quality” and I’ve linked to the summarised version from the Health Foundation.