The Effect of Executive Walk Rounds on Nurse Safety Climate Attitudes. A Randomized Trial of Clinical Units

Department of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.
BMC Health Services Research (Impact Factor: 1.71). 05/2005; 5(1):28. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-5-28
Source: PubMed


Executive walk rounds (EWRs) are a widely used but unstudied activity designed to improve safety culture in hospitals. Therefore, we measured the impact of EWRs on one important part of safety culture -- provider attitudes about the safety climate in the institution.
Randomized study of EWRs for 23 clinical units in a tertiary care teaching hospital. All providers except physicians participated. EWRs were conducted at each unit by one of six hospital executives once every four weeks for three visits. Providers were asked about their concerns regarding patient safety and what could be done to improve patient safety. Suggestions were tabulated and when possible, changes were made. Provider attitudes about safety climate measured by the Safety Climate Survey before and after EWRs. We report mean scores, percent positive scores (percentage of providers who responded four or higher on a five point scale (agree slightly or agree strongly), and the odds of EWR participants agreeing with individual survey items when compared to non-participants.
Before EWRs the mean safety climate scores for nurses were similar in the control units and EWR units (78.97 and 76.78, P = 0.458) as were percent positive scores (64.6% positive and 61.1% positive). After EWRs the mean safety climate scores were not significantly different for all providers nor for nurses in the control units and EWR units (77.93 and 78.33, P = 0.854) and (56.5% positive and 62.7% positive). However, when analyzed by exposure to EWRs, nurses in the control group who did not participate in EWRs (n = 198) had lower safety climate scores than nurses in the intervention group who did participate in an EWR session (n = 85) (74.88 versus 81.01, P = 0.02; 52.5% positive versus 72.9% positive). Compared to nurses who did not participate, nurses in the experimental group who reported participating in EWRs also responded more favorably to a majority of items on the survey.
EWRs have a positive effect on the safety climate attitudes of nurses who participate in the walk rounds sessions. EWRs are a promising tool to improve safety climate and the broader construct of safety culture.

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    • "Safety rounds created a remarkable change in the patient safety culture at the participating medical centers. Thomas et al 2005 To measure the impact of safety rounds on non-clinician provider attitudes about the safety climate in 23 clinical units of one tertiary care teaching hospital. "

    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · BMJ quality & safety
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    • "Based on the literature concerning Executive WalkRounds [2,3,11-14] we developed a standard script to facilitate the intervention. This standard scripts consisted of the introduction; the background; the procedure (ie, ground rules and the three phases; Figure 1); starting, final, and additional questions; and the reporting form. "
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    ABSTRACT: At many hospitals and long-term care organizations (such as nursing homes), executive board members have a responsibility to manage patient safety. Executive WalkRounds offer an opportunity for boards to build a trusting relationship with professionals and seem useful as a leadership tool to pick up on soft signals, which are indirect signals or early warnings that something is wrong. Because the majority of the research on WalkRounds has been performed in hospitals, it is unknown how board members of long-term care organizations develop their patient safety policy. Also, it is not clear if these board members use soft signals as a leadership tool and, if so, how this influences their patient safety policies.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014
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    • "SAQ scores have been shown to correlate with patient outcome in care giving units [12,15-17]. The instrument may identify possible weaknesses in a clinical setting and motivate quality improvement interventions and reductions in medical errors [18-20]. The SAQ has been translated and validated in a number of different countries, including Norway [17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Patient safety culture is how leader and staff interaction, attitudes, routines and practices protect patients from adverse events in healthcare. The Safety Attitudes Questionnaire is the most widely used instrument to measure safety attitudes among health care providers. The instrument may identify possible weaknesses in clinical settings, and motivate and guide quality improvement interventions and reductions in medical errors. The Safety Attitudes Questionnaire - Ambulatory Version was developed for measuring safety culture in the primary care setting. The original version includes six major patient safety factors: Teamwork climate, Safety climate, Job satisfaction, Perceptions of management, Working conditions and Stress recognition. We describe the results of a validation study using the Norwegian translation of the questionnaire in the primary care setting, and present the psychometric properties of this version. The study was done in seven Out-of-hours casualty clinics and 17 regular GP practices employing a total of 510 primary health care providers (194 nurses and 316 medical doctors). In October and November 2012, the translated Safety Attitudes Questionnaire - Ambulatory Version was distributed by e-mail. Data were collected electronically using the program QuestBack, whereby the participants responded anonymously. SPSS was used to estimate the Cronbach's alphas, item-to-own-factor correlations, intercorrelations of factors and item-descriptive statistics. The confirmatory factor analysis was done by AMOS. Of the 510 invited health care providers, 266 (52%) answered the questionnaire - 72% of the registered nurses (n = 139) and 39% of the medical doctors (n = 124). In the confirmatory factor analysis, the following five factor model was shown to have acceptable goodness-of-fit values in the Norwegian primary care setting: Teamwork climate, Safety climate, Job satisfaction, Working conditions and Perceptions of management. The results of our study indicate that the Norwegian translated version of the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire - Ambulatory Version, with the five confirmed factors, might be a useful tool for measuring several aspects of patient safety culture in the primary care setting. Further research should investigate whether there is an association between patient safety culture in primary care, as measured by the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire - Ambulatory Version, and occurrence of medical errors and negative patient outcome.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · BMC Health Services Research
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