Safety Culture Surveys

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Measuring & Improving Patient Safety Culture through Surveys

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture to measure hospital safety culture, which can be defined as the shared, learned beliefs and behaviors that reflect a hospital's willingness to learn from experience.

The UNMC Patient Safety Team has proven expertise in administering and interpreting the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture for small rural hospitals. Under the leadership of Dr. Katherine Jones, UNMC has conducted and interpreted the survey for over 100 small rural hospitals located in 15 states. The UNMC Patient Safety Team has made two adaptations to the original AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture.

  • The rural-adapted version of the survey collapses the work areas and job titles to accurately categorize staff in critical access and small rural hospitals. This adaptation facilitates comparisons of safety culture by work area and job title in small hospitals with less than 50 beds.
  • The TeamSTEPPS-adapted version of the survey includes 10 additional items to evaluate implementation of the TeamSTEPPS program according to Kirkpatrick’s four-level taxonomy of training criteria.
    • One item measures respondents’ extent of TeamSTEPPS training
    • Four items measure learning (Kirkpatrick's Level 2) as knowledge of TeamSTEPPS tools
    • Five items measure transfer (Kirkpatrick's Level 3) as a respondent’s perception of the frequency with which TeamSTEPPS tools and strategies are used 

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