Florida may require hospitals to conduct anonymous patient safety surveys

Florida lawmakers are considering legislation that would require hospitals to conduct anonymous employee surveys on patient safety culture, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Every other year, hospitals would have to survey employees on how well their teams work together and communicate, along with whether staff members feel comfortable raising safety concerns with superiors. Survey results would then be shared with the public.

The Florida House of Representatives has previously passed similar proposals, which failed to gain traction in the Senate. However, this week the Senate Health Policy Committee passed the bill in a unanimous vote.

Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, credits the bill's heightened support to recent patient safety issues that have come to light at hospitals like St. Petersburg-based Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. In November 2018, the Tampa Bay Times published an investigative report on safety and quality issues at the hospital's heart surgery unit.

"If we were asking clinical staff on a regular basis, 'How do you feel about the quality of care at this hospital?' and it's going to be public, God knows the CEO of that hospital is going to make sure they put eyeballs on that data and that could save somebody's life," Mr. Sprowls told Tampa Bay Times.

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