Creating a culture of support for nursing surveillance

Nurs Forum. 2022 Nov;57(6):1204-1212. doi: 10.1111/nuf.12823. Epub 2022 Oct 29.


Background: An estimated 98,000 deaths annually result from medical errors. Preventing these deaths must be a US healthcare goal. Surveillance decreases adverse events. Surveillance is essential for patient safety. Creating a unit culture that supports surveillance requires attention to its antecedents (nurse education, nurse expertise, nurse staffing, as well as organizational culture).

Method: The current literature on topics salient to creating a culture of nursing surveillance including its antecedents and its attributes were reviewed. The findings are summarized and presented.

Discussion: Suggestions and tools enhancing a culture of safety allow the transition from one set of behaviors to another. An organizational culture that strives for excellence promotes surveillance which results in improved patient outcomes and better qualified nurses.

Conclusion: Unit change resulting in support for surveillance can minimize failure to rescue and promote interruption of adverse events. The patient outcomes include decreased morbidity and mortality.

Keywords: interdisciplinary communication; monitoring; nurse staffing; nursing surveillance; patient outcomes; patient safety.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Medical Errors
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital*
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Patient Safety
  • Workforce