Modeling Learning for a Better Safety Culture within an Organisation Using a Virtual AI Coach: Reducing the Risk of Postpartum Depression by More Communication with Parents

Linn Marie Weigl, Fakhra Jabeen, Jan Treur, H Rob Taal, P.H.M.P. Roelofsma

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Learning is an integral part of organizations. Therefore, organizational learning has been coined as a key term, as it facilitates further development, both within individuals, amongst individuals, and as a result, within teams and organizations. Just safety culture, also known as safety culture or just culture, refers to a culture within an organization that promotes open communication, transparency, and trust amongst professionals in the field. It is a tool to facilitate organizational learning. This research paper is part of the SAFEcoach Project, which aims to incorporate an AI Coach (AIC) into hospital organizations to assist the healthcare practitioners (HCPs) in their tasks and strive for a just safety culture. The task of the AI Coach includes reminding the HCP of forgotten steps, encouraging the HCP to take additional steps, and possibly even taking over the role of the HCP under certain circumstances to the AICs’ maximum capability. The increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) to further the understanding of processes and learning capabilities within organizations, has proven vital. Hospitals are no exception to this. Hospitals are structured to have protocols for all aspects and actors within them. Protocols lay the foundation of all processes yet is predominantly focused on the essential aspects, such as medical processes, in, for example, childbirth. Childbirth is a sensitive and daily occurring natural phenomenon in hospitals. There are steps in place, for before, during and after, that healthcare professionals must follow to ensure a safe and healthy delivery of the child and for the mother. However, protocols are only in place for processes and deviations in processes that occur within the hospital. They fail to consider the possible adverse effects that may occur outside the hospital due to the actions of HCPs or lack thereof. Bedside manners are within the curriculum of medical studies; however, the importance of adequate patient communication is often underestimated and, therefore, a less valued step, and sometimes even a forgotten step, within the protocol. In the context of childbirth, a lack of communication with both the mother and partner can result in feelings of isolation. Moreover, the divide between parents and HCPs does not allow for open communication. This barrier is a factor in parents developing mental health problems, such as postpartum depression (PPD). Paternal postpartum depression (PPPD) commonly occurs, yet since fathers are not active actors in the birth-giving process, little attention is awarded to them during childbirth. PPPD is accompanied by adverse effects affecting both the mother and the child. This paper discusses methods that could facilitate better support for the father in order to decrease the frequency of fathers experiencing mental health issues. To incorporate an AIC into the field, as is the goal of SAFEcoach, the Coach needs perfect knowledge of the processes that occur for its actions to have merit. To do so, Network-Oriented Modelling is used, which encompasses creating conceptual and numerical representations of a healthcare practitioner’s mental model, as well as the protocols in place and incorporating that into the AIC. As a result, the AIC creates its own perfect mental model and has perfect knowledge about the protocols, making it a useful tool for HCPs. This paper presents models designed to encourage open and adequate communication both from the father’s side and the healthcare practitioner’s side. The states in these models encompass protocols and common knowledge for all actors involved, as well as their own individual knowledge. The aim is to expand the definition of safety culture, to involve not only the medical practitioners but also the patients and their families, and to encourage communication. In return, this implementation depicts the benefits of open communication and its subsequent effect of decreasing the risk of both the mother and father developing PPD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-36
JournalCognitive Systems Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 17 Jul 2022


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