Organisational culture: Variation across hospitals and connection to patient safety climate

Department of Medicine, Center for Health Services Research, Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.
Quality and Safety in Health Care (Impact Factor: 2.16). 12/2010; 19(6):592-6. DOI: 10.1136/qshc.2009.039511
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Bureaucratic organisational culture is less favourable to quality improvement, whereas organisations with group (teamwork) culture are better aligned for quality improvement.
To determine if an organisational group culture shows better alignment with patient safety climate.
Cross-sectional administration of questionnaires. Setting 40 Hospital Corporation of America hospitals.
1406 nurses, ancillary staff, allied staff and physicians.
Competing Values Measure of Organisational Culture, Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ), Safety Climate Survey (SCSc) and Information and Analysis (IA).
The Cronbach alpha was 0.81 for the group culture scale and 0.72 for the hierarchical culture scale. Group culture was positively correlated with SAQ and its subscales (from correlation coefficient r = 0.44 to 0.55, except situational recognition), ScSc (r = 0.47) and IA (r = 0.33). Hierarchical culture was negatively correlated with the SAQ scales, SCSc and IA. Among the 40 hospitals, 37.5% had a hierarchical dominant culture, 37.5% a dominant group culture and 25% a balanced culture. Group culture hospitals had significantly higher safety climate scores than hierarchical culture hospitals. The magnitude of these relationships was not affected after adjusting for provider job type and hospital characteristics.
Hospitals vary in organisational culture, and the type of culture relates to the safety climate within the hospital. In combination with prior studies, these results suggest that a healthcare organisation's culture is a critical factor in the development of its patient safety climate and in the successful implementation of quality improvement initiatives.

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Available from: Robert Alan Greevy, Sep 29, 2015
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    • "Subscales within the SAQ include Teamwork, Safety Climate, Job Satisfaction, Perceptions of Management, Working Conditions, and Stress Recognition. The SAQ has been used to assess opportunities for quality improvement in obstetrical settings [4], intensive care units [5,6], within single institutions [7-9], in multicentre studies [10-12], children’s hospitals [13], the Veteran’s Administration [14] and increasingly in international settings [8,15]. The SAQ has been well-described [16-18]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Our previous analyses using the Stress Recognition subscale of the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ) resulted in significant effect estimates with equally opposing explanations. We suspected construct validity issues and investigated such using our own data and correlation matrices of previous published studies. The correlation matrices for each of the SAQ subscales from two previous studies by Speroff and Taylor were replicated and compared. The SAS Proc Factor procedure and the PRIORS = SMC option were used to perform Common Factor Analysis. The correlation matrices of both studies were very similar. Teamwork, Safety Climate, Job Satisfaction, Perceptions of Management and Working Conditions were well-correlated. The correlations ranged from 0.53 to 0.76. For Stress Recognition correlations ranged from -0.15 to 0.03. Common Factor Analysis confirmed the isolation of Stress Recognition. CFA returned a strong one-factor model that explained virtually all of the communal variance. Stress Recognition loaded poorly on this factor in both instances, and the CFA indicated that 96.4-100.0% of the variance associated with Stress Recognition was unique to that subscale, and not shared with the other 5 subscales. We conclude that the Stress Recognition subscale does not fit into the overall safety climate construct the SAQ intended to reflect. We recommend that this domain be omitted from overall safety climate scale score calculations, and clearly identified as an important yet distinct organizational construct. We suggest that this subscale be investigated for its true meaning, characterized as such, and findings conveyed to SAQ end users. We make no argument against Stress Recognition as an important organizational metric, rather we suggest that as a stand-alone construct its current packaging within the SAQ may be misleading for those intent on intervention development and evaluation in healthcare settings if they interpret Stress Recognition results as emblematic of safety climate.
    BMC Research Notes 07/2013; 6(1):302. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-6-302
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    ABSTRACT: Effective communication is a hallmark of safe patient care. Challenges to effective interprofessional communication in maternity care include differing professional perspectives on clinical management, steep hierarchies, and lack of administrative support for change. We review principles of high reliability as they apply to communication in clinical care and discuss principles of effective communication and conflict management in maternity care. Effective clinical communication is respectful, clear, direct, and explicit. We use a clinical scenario to illustrate an historic style of nurse-physician communication and demonstrate how communication can be improved to promote trust and patient safety. Consistent execution of successful communication requires excellent listening skills, superb administrative support, and collective commitment to move past traditional hierarchy and professional stereotyping.
    American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 04/2011; 205(2):91-6. DOI:10.1016/j.ajog.2011.04.021 · 4.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Safety culture has been identified as having a major impact on how safety is managed in healthcare. However, it has not received much attention in general practices. Hence, no instrument yet exists to assess safety climate-the measurable artefact of safety culture-in this setting. This study aims to evaluate psychometric properties of a newly developed safety climate questionnaire for use in German general practices. METHODS The existing Safety Attitudes Questionnaire, Ambulatory Version, was considerably modified and enhanced in order to be applicable in general practice. After pilot tests and its application in a random sample of 400 German practices, a first psychometric analysis led to modifications in several items. A further psychometric analysis was conducted with an additional sample of 60 practices and a response rate of 97.08%. Exploratory factor analysis with orthogonal varimax rotation was carried out and the internal consistency of the identified factors was calculated. RESULTS Nine factors emerged, representing a wide range of dimensions associated with safety culture: teamwork climate, error management, safety of clinical processes, perception of causes of errors, job satisfaction, safety of office structure, receptiveness to healthcare assistants and patients, staff perception of management, and quality and safety of medical care. Internal consistency of factors is moderate to good. CONCLUSIONS This study demonstrates the development of a patient safety climate instrument. The questionnaire displays established features of safety climate and additionally contains features that might be specific to small-scale general practices.
    BMJ quality & safety 05/2011; 20(9):797-805. DOI:10.1136/bmjqs.2010.049411 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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