Two Contrasting Organizations
Organizational Culture
What Do We Mean By a Culture of Safety?
The Culture of Healthcare Organizations
What Makes a Culture of Safety?

Organizational Culture

Culture is ‘how & why you do what you do’. Culture is comprised of the overarching themes within an organization; more often than not, it is made up of stories and unwritten rules governing behavior. These can be clearly stated or merely implied, intentional or unintentional. Some may be unintended outcomes of policy or procedures in the organization. It is not unusual for the policies and actions of an organization to be in at least partial conflict with its stated goals and values.

Culture is not necessarily uniform within a single organization. Within a hospital, for instance, each discipline can have a different culture (e.g., social workers vs. physicians vs. physical therapists). Alternatively, each ward or patient care unit can have a different culture. These differences may benefit the work of the organization -- patient care -- or impede that work. The latter is more likely, as differences in culture frequently result in communication difficulties.

Click each image for example.

HHH Culture
CCC Culture

Thought Question:
The intended outcome of CCC’s administrative policy is to provide high quality care while balancing the amount of time that it takes. What potential unintended outcomes can you identify?


Index Previous Next

Questions about this website, please email: CFM_Webmaster@mc.duke.edu
© 2016 Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine. All Rights Reserved.