Whistleblowing in Healthcare for Patient Safety: An Integrative Literature Review

Lyndon Garvin Augustine


Patient safety has progressed over the past decade from being a relatively insignificant issue to a position of high importance for healthcare executives and policy makers. However, most of the opportunities for healthcare professionals to identify and act upon patient safety concerns are likely to occur much further upstream, such as, within the day-to-day mundane activities. Because of this, policy makers have ramped up the focus on the role of “whistleblowers” towards raising concerns around patient safety in healthcare settings. The notion of whistleblowing in healthcare has been known to bring healthcare scandals to light, which in essence has contributed to preventing future harm to patients. Although this may be true, when compared to other industries, there remains relatively little research on whistleblowing in healthcare. For this reason, the purpose of this study was to examine the role of organizational culture and change in healthcare, the link between ethics and whistleblowing, and the processes and levels of whistleblowing within healthcare. By focusing on these, the researcher was successful in highlighting a series of organizational factors that has been known to both inhibit and foster whistleblowing within healthcare. Thereafter, the researcher then suggested steps that can be used to help organizations build and sustain an ethical culture where whistleblowing is viewed as a morale right.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijhrs.v12i1.19477

Copyright (c) 2022 Lyndon Garvin Augustine

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International Journal of Human Resource Studies  ISSN 2162-3058

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