Study: Hospital safety could be improved

Feb. 1, 2012 at 10:49 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Good communication among U.S. hospital staff is essential when transferring patients, but most staff say handoffs could improve, researchers say.

The sixth annual edition of the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture: 2012 User Comparative Database Report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provides results from 567,703 staff from 1,128 U.S. hospitals.

The report enables hospitals to compare their patient safety culture scores with other U.S. hospitals. The full report contains detailed comparative data for various hospital characteristics -- such as bed size, teaching status, ownership and control, region and respondent characteristics such as work areas, staff positions and interaction with patients.

The hospital survey was designed to assess hospital staff opinions about patient safety issues, medical errors and event reporting. The survey includes items that measure 12 areas of patient safety culture, including communication openness, feedback and communication about error, frequency of events reported, handoffs and transitions, management support for patient safety, non-punitive response to error, organizational learning or continuous improvement, overall perceptions of patient safety, staffing, supervisor/manager expectations and actions promoting safety, teamwork across units and teamwork within units.

The survey includes two questions that ask respondents to provide an overall grade on patient safety for their work area/unit and to indicate the number of events they reported over the past 12 months.

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