3 Interventions to Improve Patient Safety Culture

While evidence for the effectiveness of patient safety culture interventions is limited, evidence suggests the most effective strategies are multifaceted and include team training and executive engagement in safety walk rounds, according to a study in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers searched MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Cochrane, and EMBASE for English-language studies published from January 2000 to October 2012 that examined interventions related to patient safety culture in inpatient settings. The authors determined that the studies generally had low strength of evidence and low- to moderate-quality evaluations. However, the evidence suggested that interventions can improve safety culture and potentially reduce patient harm, according to the study.


Of 33 eligible studies, 29 reported some improvements in safety culture or patient outcomes, although outcomes varied widely. There were three common types of interventions in these studies:

1. Team training and team communication tools
2. Executive walk rounds and interdisciplinary rounding
3. Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program, a multifactor strategy that incorporates adaptive and technical interventions

The authors concluded, "The best evidence to date seems to include strategies comprising multiple components that incorporate team training and mechanisms to support team communication and include executive engagement in front-line safety walk rounds.

More Articles on Patient Safety Culture:

7 Strategies to Improve Healthcare Workplace Safety
How Hospitals Can Improve the Culture of Safety in the Surgical Suite: 10 Interventions to Mitigate Risk and Create a Culture of Safety in the OR

Study: Team Training Can Enhance Hospitals' Safety Culture

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