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Health Serv Res. 2008 Aug;43(4):1263-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2008.00839.x. Epub 2008 Mar 17.

An overview of patient safety climate in the VA.

Author information

  • 1Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research, A VA Center of Excellence, Bedford, MA 01730, USA. christine.hartmann@va.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess variation in safety climate across VA hospitals nationally.

STUDY SETTING:

Data were collected from employees at 30 VA hospitals over a 6-month period using the Patient Safety Climate in Healthcare Organizations survey.

STUDY DESIGN:

We sampled 100 percent of senior managers and physicians and a random 10 percent of other employees. At 10 randomly selected hospitals, we sampled an additional 100 percent of employees working in units with intrinsically higher hazards (high-hazard units [HHUs]).

DATA COLLECTION:

Data were collected using an anonymous survey design.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We received 4,547 responses (49 percent response rate). The percent problematic response--lower percent reflecting higher levels of patient safety climate--ranged from 12.0-23.7 percent across hospitals (mean=17.5 percent). Differences in safety climate emerged by management level, clinician status, and workgroup. Supervisors and front-line staff reported lower levels of safety climate than senior managers; clinician responses reflected lower levels of safety climate than those of nonclinicians; and responses of employees in HHUs reflected lower levels of safety climate than those of workers in other areas.

CONCLUSIONS:

This is the first systematic study of patient safety climate in VA hospitals. Findings indicate an overall positive safety climate across the VA, but there is room for improvement.

PMID:
18355257
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2517282
Free PMC Article

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