Psychological safety, a shared belief that interpersonal risk taking is safe, is an important determinant of incident reporting. However, how psychological safety affects near-miss reporting is unclear, as near misses contain contrasting cues that highlight both resilience (“we avoided failure”) and vulnerability (“we nearly failed”). Near misses offer learning opportunities for addressing underlying causes of potential incidents, and it is crucial to understand what facilitates near-miss reporting.
This study by Jung et al. found near misses are not processed and reported equally. The effect of psychological safety on reporting near misses becomes stronger with their increasing proximity to a negative outcome. Educating healthcare workers to properly identify near misses and fostering psychological safety may increase near-miss reporting and improve patient safety.