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Embracing excellence in healthcare: the role of positive feedback
  1. Adrian Plunkett
  1. Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adrian Plunkett, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK; adrianplunkett{at}nhs.net

Abstract

Embracing failure for the purpose of learning is a key trait in successful teams. Failure, however, is not the only source of learning. The majority of interventions in healthcare are successful, yet our prevailing efforts to extract learning intelligence tend to focus almost exclusively on failures, such as harm and errors. By considering the learning potential across the whole landscape of work from success to failure, we can widen the range of learning opportunities. The key steps to learn from excellence are first to recognise excellence, which can be highly subjective, and second to provide positive feedback. Positive feedback enhances learning through a number of routes, including increasing self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation. It may also help to improve relationships within teams and to offset negativity associated with blame cultures.

  • psychology
  • qualitative research

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Footnotes

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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