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Famolaro T, Yount ND, Burns W, Flashner E, Liu H, Sorra J. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; March 2016. AHRQ Publication No. 16-00121-EF.
Measuring and improving safety culture are core patient safety activities. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality established the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture user comparative database in 2007. The 2016 report includes data from 680 hospitals. As expected, responses varied for different aspects of patient safety. In general, respondents rated teamwork, leadership, and continuous improvement as areas of strength. In contrast, handoffs, staffing, and nonpunitive response to error remained patient safety concerns for nearly half of respondents. These findings suggest that overall patient safety culture is improving at hospitals, but significant work is needed to bolster transitions, staffing, and adverse event response. A recent PSNet interview discussed AHRQ's efforts to develop patient safety measures and improvement programs.