Table 1

 Hospital units ranked according to analysis of qualitative data*

Memorial 1University 1University 3Memorial 2Memorial 4Memorial 5University 2Memorial 3
NM, nurse manager.
*This table is reproduced in a slightly revised form from Edmondson.2
Interviewer’s overall rating of opennessHighHighMed/highMed/highMedMed/LowLowVery Low
Espoused attitudes toward drug errors: blame v learnLearnTends toward learningLearnNeutralBlame, fearBlame, fearNeutralBlame
Nurse v manager staff views of NM (N/M%)70/30%25/7550/5050/5010/900/10050/5010/90
NM: hands on v hands offHands onHands off, but approachableHands onHands onHands on, but controllingHands offHands offHands off and controlling
NM attireScrubsScrubsUsually scrubsScrubsBusiness suit/dressBusiness suit/dressScrubs or dressBusiness suit
NM’s views of staffThey are too hard on themselvesDoctors are independent and don’t take nurses’ adviceNurses feel a lot of guiltNurses are hard on themselvesNurses are nervous and defensive about mistakesNurses are nervous about being called into [my] “the principal’s office”Nurses are always assessing and judging each otherViews residents as kids needing discipline, treats nurses in same way
They are capable and seasonedNurses should talk to each other first before coming to me with a concernNurses see mistakes as larger than lifeAdvocates compassionate confrontationPays careful attention to reporting structures
Staff’s views of NMA superb nurse and leaderA counsellor, not a bossA rule person She talks to us individually, avoids public discussion of mistakesDistracted, helpful, non-punitive, non-judgmentalControlling and overbearing Makes you feel guilty Makes you want to cover your buttTends to blame individuals for mistakesPunitive Gives you the silent treatment Makes you feel guiltyTreats you as guilty if you make a mistake Treats you like a 2 year old
Staff’s views of errorsNatural, normal, important to documentMistakes are serious because of the toxicity of drugs, so you’re never afraid to tell the nurse managerMistakes happen because we get interrupted doing our workMed errors are not a big deal hereReluctance to report, because people get in troubleIndividuals get blamed for mistakes; you don’t want to make themThe environment is unforgiving Heads will rollYou get put on trial