Table 1Average percent-positive scores for 21 critical access hospitals in 2005 and 2007

Dimension and item20052007
Mean (%)Min (%)Max (%)SDa (%)Mean (%)Min (%)Max (%)SDa (%)
Overall perceptions of safety69578777252849
1.b Patient safety is never sacrificed to get more work done.7052911172479312
2.b Our procedures and systems are good at preventing errors from happening.6949911073418610
3.c It is just by chance that more serious mistakes don’t happen around here.695581771478411
4.c We have patient safety problems in this department.68509097251859
Frequency of events reported61497166545809
1.d When a mistake is made but is caught and corrected before affecting the patient, how often is this reported?483361754297912
2.d When a mistake is made but has no potential to harm the patient, how often is this reported?584274861397410
3.d When a mistake is made that could harm the patient but does not, how often is this reported?76618877965908
Supervisor/manager expectations & actions promoting patient safety72608467563877
1.b My supervisor/manager says a good word when he/she sees a job done according to established patient safety procedures.6334811067448511
2.b My supervisor/manager seriously considers staff suggestions for improving patient safety.735886875519211
3.c Whenever pressure builds up, my supervisor/manager wants us to work faster, even if it means taking shortcuts.75599798068927
4.c My supervisor/manager overlooks patient safety problems that happen over and over.76648567863907
Organizational learning – continuous improvement72558987560898
1.b We are actively doing things to improve patient safety.83659688569968
2.b Mistakes have led to positive changes here.65528486853849
3.b After we make changes to improve patient safety, we evaluate their effectiveness.6742881072468811
Teamwork within departments80649178169886
1.b People support one another in this department.86649778676976
2.b When a lot of work needs to be done quickly, we work together as a team to get the work done.897310078969986
3.b In this department, people treat each other with respect.77609197761908
4.b When one area in this department gets really busy, others help out.674187107055899
Communication openness58387296247778
1.b Staff will freely speak up if they see something that may negatively affect patient care.724289107453879
2.b Staff feel free to question the decisions or actions of those with more authority.411359104629618
3.c Staff are afraid to ask questions when something does not seem right.614278116650899
Feedback and communication about error594473762458310
1.b We are given feedback about changes put into place based on event reports.453658747216813
2.b We are informed about errors that happen in this department.633982967519010
3.b In this department, we discuss ways to prevent errors from happening again.68508597151909
Nonpunitive response to error50356485233649
1.c Staff feel like their mistakes are held against them.59448495939799
2.c When an event is reported, it feels like the person is being written up, not the problem.503162852256711
3.c Staff worry that mistakes they make are kept in their personnel file.4120631046246010
1.b We have enough staff to handle the workload.6849951270429815
2.c Staff in this department work longer hours than is best for patient care.6246841164498610
3.c We use more agency/temporary staff than is best for patient care.7537971477469111
4.c We work in “crisis mode,” trying to do too much, too quickly.6248881165429012
Hospital management support for patient safety735687974529211
1.b Hospital management provides a work climate that promotes patient safety.8462100984659810
2.b The actions of hospital management show that patient safety is a top priority.7346911174559411
3.c Hospital management seems interested in patient safety only after an adverse event happens.6346821165328513
Teamwork across hospital departments6447901065447911
1.b There is good cooperation among hospital departments that need to work together.6645941266369013
2.b Hospital departments work well together to provide the best care for patients.756297874478911
3.c Hospital departments do not coordinate well with each other.5128811254287113
4.c It is often unpleasant to work with staff from other hospital departments.6341901165418411
Hospital handoffs & transitions5738851058287612
1.c Things “fall between the cracks” when transferring patients from one department to another.5740871158348413
2.c Important patient care information is often lost during shift changes.5639811259268313
3.c Problems often occur in the exchange of information across hospital departments.5229841254297412
4.c Shift changes are problematic for patients in this hospital.6144941262228614
Patient safety grade
 A – Excellent2283882511418
 B – Very Good52376375237689
 C – Acceptable2310428209398
 D – Poor308230133
 E – Failing00310010
Number of events reportede
 No event report635179949287011
 1 to 2 event reports1643482411337
 3 to 5 event reports135318158316
 6 to 10 event reports506270144
 11 to 20 event reports206240175
 21 event reports or more10622072

Standard deviation.


“Agree” and “Strongly Agree” are positive responses.


“Strongly Disagree” and “Disagree” are positive responses.


“Most of the time” and “Always” are positive responses.


The “Number of events reported” item in 2005 asked respondents how many medication safety reports have you filled out and submitted. The same item in 2007 asked respondents how many event reports have you filled out and submitted.

From: The AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture: A Tool to Plan and Evaluate Patient Safety Programs

Cover of Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches (Vol. 2: Culture and Redesign)
Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches (Vol. 2: Culture and Redesign).
Henriksen K, Battles JB, Keyes MA, et al., editors.

NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.