A model for developing high-reliability teams

William Riley, Stanley E. Davis, Kristi K. Miller, Mac McCullough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Aim: To develop a model for high reliability in health care quality and patient safety. Background: A high-reliability health organization (HRO) has measurable near perfect performance in quality and safety. High reliability is necessary in health care where the consequences of error are high and the frequency is low. Key issues: Despite a decade of intense focus on quality and safety since a series of reports from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), health care is not a completely safe industry and quality is not what it should be to ensure high reliability for patients. Conclusions: A model for high reliability is presented that includes the individual skills necessary to assure high-reliability teams on a patient care unit. High-reliability teams (HRT) form an essential core of a HRO. These teams and their organizations value a culture of safety every day with every patient encounter. Implications for nursing management: Nurse managers can lead in creating a HRO by first developing HRTs on their patient care unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-563
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Culture of safety
  • High-reliability health care organizations
  • High-reliability teams
  • Human factors
  • Model for high reliability
  • Non-technical skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management


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