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A model for developing high‐reliability teams

Research Topic: 
Health Care Management
Riley, Bill
McCullough, Mac
Riley WJ, Davis SE, Miller KK, McCullough. A Model for Developing High-Reliability Teams. Journal of Nursing Management. 2010; 18(5): 556-563.


To develop a model for high reliability in health care quality and patient safety.


A high-reliability health organization (HRO) has measurable near perfect performance in quality and safety. High reliability is necessary in health care where the consequences of error are high and the frequency is low.

Key Issues:

Despite a decade of intense focus on quality and safety since a series of reports from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), health care is not a completely safe industry and quality is not what it should be to ensure high reliability for patients.


A model for high reliability is presented that includes the individual skills necessary to assure high-reliability teams on a patient care unit. High-reliability teams (HRT) form an essential core of a HRO. These teams and their organizations value a culture of safety every day with every patient encounter.

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