Improving Patient Safety as a Function of Organizational Ethics in the Delivery of Healthcare in Saudi Arabia

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 1-1-2016


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Health Care Ethics


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Gerard Magill

Committee Member

Henk ten Have

Committee Member

Joris Gielen


Ethics, Organizational Ethics, Patient Safety, Quality Improvement


In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there has not been a systematic effort to evaluate the problems of medical error and patient safety as critical issues in healthcare organizational ethics. This dissertation aims to pursue the impact of the original IOM report on this crucial topic by adopting what have been done in the American healthcare system in order to gain insight for the Saudi Arabian healthcare system. This dissertation examines the functions of continuous quality improvement in the healthcare environment of Saudi Arabia through the lens of the organization’s moral agency. This dissertation identifies several areas in Saudi healthcare organizations that are in need of improvement. As a result, this paper makes several recommendations that systematically address patient safety and medical error so that the system can be free from adverse events and medical errors. This dissertation argues that Saudi healthcare organizations have an ethical responsibility to continuously improve the system of healthcare in order to enhance patients’ safety and to reduce medical errors. This dissertation also recommends that Saudi health organizations foster a culture of safety as part of their ethical responsibility toward the customers they serve. Therefore, Saudi healthcare organizations should have an active, anonymous, and confidential reporting system; an open communication and collaboration between healthcare professionals; and create a non-punitive system. In addition, this dissertation argues in favor of patients’ involvement in the treatment process, and for having an ethics committee in Saudi healthcare organizations.





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