Journal Article

How does patient safety culture in the operating room and post-anesthesia care unit compare to the rest of the hospital?

Kaafarani HMA, Itani KMF, Rosen AK, et al. American journal of surgery. 2009;198:70-5.

A well-documented phenomenon in patient safety is that perceptions of safety culture can differ widely between different clinical units. This study found that operating room (OR) and post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) staff had a significantly lower perception of safety climate than other hospital units, especially regarding prioritization of safety by management. Prior studies have identified suboptimal teamwork and poor communication as contributing factors to errors in the OR and PACU, and teamwork training has been proposed as a means of improving safety climate. However, this study's results demonstrate the importance of hospital leadership's support for safety efforts.