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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Evaluation of the culture of safety: survey of clinicians and managers in an academic medical center.

Pronovost PJ, Weast B, Holzmueller CG, et al. Quality & safety in health care. 2003;12:405-10.

This study determined that information captured from measuring safety culture can both evaluate and further drive an institution's patient safety agenda. Investigators used two survey tools, one to assess staff perceptions of an organizational safety commitment and the other to assess leadership perceptions on the extent to which safety serves as a strategic priority. The authors share the differential findings among staff and leadership and outline how their findings shaped subsequent improvement efforts. Key findings suggested a greater need for visibility among senior leadership to frontline staff and greater education directed at physicians about safety efforts. A past commentary drawing on the experiences in non-health care industries also suggested the importance of culture on creating high reliability organizations.