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Sorra J, Famolaro T, Yount N, Burns W, Liu H, Shyy M. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; November 2014. AHRQ Publication No. 15-0004-EF.
The AHRQ Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture, a validated tool for measuring safety culture, was initially released in 2008. This comprehensive national survey of registered nurses, nursing aides, and support staff garnered a high response rate. While respondents rated overall safety perceptions highly, similar to outpatient and hospital safety culture surveys, they expressed concerns about adequacy of staffing, as prior reports of adverse events in nursing homes would suggest. Even though most respondents believed that feedback and communication about safety problems was positive, many did not endorse a nonpunitive response to error. Instead, there was concern about individual blame. As with multiple studies, managers reported a more positive safety climate than frontline staff, suggesting that leadership on safety climate has not changed on-the-ground staff perceptions despite increasing awareness of safety culture. Given that prior work has demonstrated a link between positive safety climate and patient outcomes in nursing homes, it will be critical to address the problems raised in this analysis. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed the safety and quality of long-term care, and a previous AHRQ WebM&M interview with Nicholas Castle explored unique issues surrounding patient safety in the nursing home population.
Levinson DR. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General; February 2014. Report No. OEI-06-11-00370.
This report from the Office of the Inspector General examines the nationwide incidence of adverse events in skilled nursing facilities among the Medicare population. Approximately 22% of beneficiaries who stayed in a skilled nursing facility experienced an adverse event, and more than half were preventable. These results mirror previous studies documenting an overall poor level of safety culture in nursing homes. More than half of those who experienced harm were readmitted to the hospital. The report outlines recommendations, including raising awareness of safety concerns in this setting and instructing surveyors who inspect nursing homes to evaluate patient safety practices. These findings emphasize the importance of focusing outside acute care settings in order to advance patient safety by improving systems of care and by aligning accreditation and payment structures. A past AHRQ WebM&M interview discussed unique issues surrounding patient safety in the nursing home population.