Case—Increase patient safety with the Safety Cross

The most important aspect of a health care provider is to help the patient recover, and one of the worst things that can happen is when the patient is injured in connection with care. By visualizing and discussing this, employees can systematically improve the business together.

Safety Cross Methodology

The opposite of a green cross is a red cross, which is the symbol used to show the way to the emergency room after getting sick. Therefore, the opposite involves turning the same symbol into something positive—that is, an injury has not occurred.

An injury-free day is marked in the cross in green. If there is a risk of injury, it will be highlighted in yellow, and the day a health care injury occurs will be marked in red.

The first thoughts before trying the methodology usually are as follows:

  • Are we really going to show how many injuries have occurred?
  • How should the person who caused the injury feel?
  • And what will the patients say if they see this?

When starting with the Safety Cross, it is therefore important to base the discussion on what the purpose is. Through the involvement and employee involvement of the employees, the business continually improves step by step.

An important component for rapidly reducing the number of incidents is to encourage the identification of risks. Risks are highlighted in yellow, which may be strange when trying to get a green day, but eliminating risks prevent damage.

Another important component of the work is to encode every risk and health care. This makes it easier to keep statistics on which are the most common events. At the same time, it raises the discussion to the level of asking “why” instead of “who.”

The discussion is the third basic component that determines the success of the methodology. By gathering everyone involved every day and analyzing the risks and injuries interprofessionally, the knowledge gained in the organization is increased, while the power of the improvement actions becomes high.

Mission: Digitize the Safety Cross


When Mevisio was contracted to produce a digital version of the Green Cross, the customer, one of the larger healthcare regions in Sweden, had run the method on the whiteboard for a year. Though pleased with the outcome from that, the physical constraint gave rise to a number of wishes that could be resolved digitally:

  • Store and easily review history.
  • Compile data from multiple safety crosses.
  • Get statistics on events across the entire administration.
  • Analyze trends with heat maps.
  • Have a meeting and see the board via web link for employees sitting in different locations.

The first step was to develop a digital board that could run in a web browser on a regular computer. It could also be run on a large touch screen to make it visible and accessible in the corridors near the center of events.


The solution that was developed in Mevisio was designed with digital boards, where each shift had its board showing the results of the shift and also the events of the shift. This was compiled into an overall board where the respective day showed the most serious color from the three shifts—morning, afternoon, and night.


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