Perceptions of safety culture vary across the intensive care units of a single institution
ABSTRACT To determine whether safety culture factors varied across the intensive care units (ICUs) of a single hospital, between nurses and physicians, and to explore ICU nursing directors' perceptions of their personnel's attitudes.
Cross-sectional surveys using the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire-ICU version, a validated, aviation industry-based safety culture survey instrument. It assesses culture across six factors: teamwork climate, perceptions of management, safety climate, stress recognition, job satisfaction, and work environment.
Four ICUs in one tertiary care hospital.
All ICU personnel.
We conducted the survey from January 1 to April 1, 2003, and achieved a 70.2% response rate (318 of 453). We calculated safety culture factor mean and percent-positive scores (percentage of respondents with a mean score of > or =75 on a 0-100 scale for which 100 is best) for each ICU. We compared mean ICU scores by ANOVA and percent-positive scores by chi-square. Mean and percent-positive scores by job category were modeled using a generalized estimating equations approach and compared using Wald statistics. We asked ICU nursing directors to estimate their personnel's mean scores and generated ratios of their estimates to the actual scores.Overall, factor scores were low to moderate across all factors (range across ICUs: 43.4-74.9 mean scores, 8.6-69.4 percent positive). Mean and percent-positive scores differed significantly (p < .0083, Bonferroni correction) across ICUs, except for stress recognition, which was uniformly low. Compared with physicians, nurses had significantly lower mean working conditions and perceptions of management scores. ICU nursing directors tended to overestimate their personnel's attitudes. This was greatest for teamwork, for which all director estimates exceeded actual scores, with a mean overestimate of 16%.
Significant safety culture variation exists across ICUs of a single hospital. ICU nursing directors tend to overestimate their personnel's attitudes, particularly for teamwork. Culture assessments based on institutional level analysis or director opinion may be flawed.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose Staff behaviours to optimise patient safety may be influenced by burnout, depression and strength of the safety culture. We evaluated whether burnout, symptoms of depression and safety culture affected the frequency of medical errors and adverse events (selected using Delphi techniques) in ICUs. Methods Prospective, observational, multicentre (31 ICUs) study from August 2009 to December 2011. Results Burnout, depression symptoms and safety culture were evaluated using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), CES-Depression scale and Safety Attitudes Questionnaire, respectively. Of 1,988 staff members, 1,534 (77.2 %) participated. Frequencies of medical errors and adverse events were 804.5/1,000 and 167.4/1,000 patient-days, respectively. Burnout prevalence was 3 or 40 % depending on the definition (severe emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and low personal accomplishment; or MBI score greater than −9). Depression symptoms were identified in 62/330 (18.8 %) physicians and 188/1,204 (15.6 %) nurses/nursing assistants. Median safety culture score was 60.7/100 [56.8–64.7] in physicians and 57.5/100 [52.4–61.9] in nurses/nursing assistants. Depression symptoms were an independent risk factor for medical errors. Burnout was not associated with medical errors. The safety culture score had a limited influence on medical errors. Other independent risk factors for medical errors or adverse events were related to ICU organisation (40 % of ICU staff off work on the previous day), staff (specific safety training) and patients (workload). One-on-one training of junior physicians during duties and existence of a hospital risk-management unit were associated with lower risks. Conclusions The frequency of selected medical errors in ICUs was high and was increased when staff members had symptoms of depression.Intensive Care Medicine 01/2015; 41(2). DOI:10.1007/s00134-014-3601-4 · 5.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Patient safety culture emerges from the shared assumptions, values and norms of members of a health care organization, unit, team or other group with regard to practices that directly or indirectly influence patient safety. It has been argued that organizational culture is an amalgamation of many cultures, and that subcultures should be studied to develop a deeper understanding of an organization's culture. The aim of this study was to explore subcultures among registered nurses and nurse assistants in Sweden in terms of their assumptions, values and norms with regard to practices associated with patient safety. The study employed an exploratory design using a qualitative method, and was conducted at two hospitals in southeast Sweden. Seven focus group interviews and two individual interviews were conducted with registered nurses and seven focus group interviews and one individual interview were conducted with nurse assistants. Manifest content analysis was used for the analysis. Seven patient safety culture domains (i.e. categories of assumptions, values and norms) that included practices associated with patient safety were found: responsibility, competence, cooperation, communication, work environment, management and routines. The domains corresponded with three system levels: individual, interpersonal and organizational levels. The seven domains consisted of 16 subcategories that expressed different aspects of the registered nurses and assistants nurses' patient safety culture. Half of these subcategories were shared. Registered nurses and nurse assistants in Sweden differ considerably with regard to patient safety subcultures. The results imply that, in order to improve patient safety culture, efforts must be tailored to both registered nurses' and nurse assistants' patient safety-related assumptions, values and norms. Such efforts must also take into account different system levels. The results of the present study could be useful to facilitate discussions about patient safety within and between different professional groups.BMC Nursing 12/2014; 13(1):39. DOI:10.1186/s12912-014-0039-5