Can a hospital be as safe as an airplane? A nuclear power plant? A space rocket? Like healthcare, these industries operate under rigorous, complex and hazardous conditions, doing high stakes work where mistakes can result in great harm – yet they maintain far better safety levels, earning them recognition as High Reliability Organizations (HRO). Today, forward-thinking healthcare organizations and the industry overall – led by the Joint Commission – are undertaking essential changes in pursuit of high reliability. These changes involve: Leadership’s commitment to achieving consistent excellence in quality and safety A fully functional culture of safety throughout the organization The widespread deployment of highly effective process improvement tools While much of the focus has been on patient safety, a true culture of safety prioritizes the safety of both patients and staff, and addresses them in an integrated, cohesive manner. Studies show that organizations that combine patient and staff safety, rather than “siloing” these efforts and addressing as totally separate issues, are far more successful at creating the culture of safety essential to achieving high reliability.