Safety Management Systems

The Gold Standard in Managing Risk

As healthcare delivery becomes increasingly complex, with multiple providers, multiple procedures, multiple inter‐ and intra‐disciplinary team members and multiple medications, the Safety Management System (SMS) approach is one of the most effective means of managing risk and becoming a High Reliability Organization (HRO).

Utilized for over two decades by other high consequence industries such as aviation and nuclear power, and required by international aviation regulatory bodies for the last decade, the Safety Management System involves everyone in the organization from top executives to line staff to everyone in between. Recognizing each individual’s role and contribution in an SMS is key, and together, utilizing operational risk management, human factors tools and techniques and predictive modeling, it is possible to implement mitigation strategies, improve upon the overall cooperation, communication and collegiality across multiple teams, avoid preventable adverse and sentinel events and improve overall patient safety and satisfaction.

A tall order? Yes. But SCSI has designed and delivered safety assessments and training to organizations globally for over a quarter century, including NASA, the United Nations, NATO, the United States Air Force, Novo Nordisk, Saudi Aramco, and the US FAA, to name a few. Let us show you how an SMS can work for your organization.

“The trend for the most frequently reported sentinel events remains generally unchanged. Organizations should continue their work toward minimizing risks associated with these types of events, but also strengthen systems and processes that keep patients safe, such as reporting and learning from close calls, teamwork and improving safety culture.”

— Dr. Gerard M. Castro, PhD, MPH
Project Director of Patient Safety Initiatives, The Joint Commission

A leader in SMS, the SCSI team has helped organizations across the globe design, implement and improve their SMS as a means of mitigating risk and avoiding major events. An SMS is a systematic approach to managing safety including the necessary organizational structures, accountabilities, pol-icies and procedures. Effective implementation of an SMS includes the following elements:

  • Proactively identifying safety hazards
  • Ensuring the implementation of remedial action necessary to maintain agreed safety performance
  • Providing continuous monitoring and regular assessment of safety performance
  • Seeking continuous improvement in the overall performance of the safety management system