Study: Medical Students Perceive Lack of "Just Culture"

Medical students' responses to a patient safety culture survey suggested a lack of a "just culture," an environment in which reporting adverse events is not penalized, according to a study in the Academic Medicine.

One hundred twenty-one fourth-year medical students at University of California, San Francisco, completed a modified version of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture in 2011 based on their third-year internal medicine or surgery clerkship experience. The researchers found the following:


•    "Teamwork within units" and "organizational learning" were rated highest, or the most present, among the survey domains.
•    "Communication openness" and "Nonpunitive response to error" were rated lowest, or least present, among survey domains.
•    56 percent of students reported they would not speak up when witnessing a possible adverse event.
•    55 percent of students were afraid to ask questions if things did not seem right.
•    48 percent of students reported feeling that mistakes were held against them.

"Overall, students reported a desire for additional patient safety training to enhance their educational experience," the authors wrote.

More Articles on Patient Safety Culture:

5 Must-Haves for a Hospital Patient Safety Program
How Can Healthcare Organizations Measure "Soft" Aspects of Patient Safety?

Does Patient Safety Culture Always Mean Safe Hospitals? Nurses Say No

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