Punitive Culture Undermines QI-AHRQ

Hospitals need to do a better job of assuring staff members that if they report patient safety problems, the information won’t be used against them, according to a new report from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The report highlights findings from the most recent edition of the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. More than a half a million hospital staffers drawn from 1,128 hospitals responded to the 2012 survey, with the vast majority of respondents indicating they had direct interaction with patients. In terms of findings, 50% of respondents said they felt mistakes were held against them, 46% felt event reporting resulted more in write-ups than problem correction and 35% worried that information on mistakes would be kept in personnel files. AHRQ’s seven-step action plan for patient safety improvement include understanding results, communicating results, creating focused action plans, communicating plan deliverables, implementation, tracking progress and sharing positive results. For the full text of Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture: 2012 User Comparative Database Report, visit AHRQ’s website at www.ahrq.gov/qual/hospsurvey12.