Study: 3 best practices for improving patient safety culture

A study, published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, examined promising best practices to improve patient safety culture in a hospital.

Researchers studied the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Surveys on Patient Safety Culture's Hospital Survey, which included longitudinal results from 536 hospitals that submitted data to the Hospital SOPS database from 2007 to 2014. They measured composite-level and aggregate improvement in patient safety culture, using that to identify "top-improving" hospitals. They then conducted interviews with one to three clinical leaders from six "top-improving" hospitals.

The study shows that the mean change in the all-composite percent positive culture score was a 1.7 percentage point increase. The six hospitals included in interviews had an average increase of 8.6 percentage points.

The three most common practices for improving culture gleaned from the interviews were:

• Goal setting and strong action planning for quality improvement
• Implementation of well-known patient safety initiatives and programs
• Rigorous survey administration methods

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