Chapter 2. Survey Administration Statistics

2011 User Comparative Database Report

This chapter presents descriptive information regarding how the 2011 database hospitals conducted survey administration. 


  • The 2011 database consists of data from 472,397 hospital staff respondents across 1,032 participating hospitals.
  • The average hospital response rate was 52 percent, with an average of 458 completed surveys per hospital.
  • Most hospitals (56 percent) administered Web surveys, which resulted in lower response rates (49 percent) compared with response rates from paper (62 percent) or mixed-mode surveys (51 percent).
  • Most hospitals (78 percent) administered the survey to all staff or a sample of all staff from all hospital departments.

The 2011 database consists of survey data from 1,032 hospitals with a total of 472,397 hospital staff respondents. Participating hospitals administered the hospital survey to their staff between March 2007 and June 2010 and voluntarily submitted their data for inclusion in the database.

Hospitals do not necessarily administer the hospital patient safety culture survey every year. They may administer it on an 18-month, 24-month, or other cycle. Therefore, the comparative database is a "rolling" indicator. Data from prior years are retained in the database when a hospital does not have new data to submit; older data are replaced with more recent data when available; and data are added from hospitals submitting for the first time.  

In order to keep the database current, data more than 3.5 years old are removed. Thus, 117 hospitals that administered the survey prior to January 1, 2007, were dropped from the 2011 database.

Overall statistics for the hospitals included in the 2011 database are shown in Table 2-1a according to when the data were submitted. The 2011 database includes 466 hospitals carried over from the 2010 report and new data submissions from 566 hospitals. As shown in Table 2-1b, the 2011 database includes 520 hospitals that submitted data to the database once and 512 trending hospitals that submitted data to the database more than once.

Table 2-2 presents data on the number of surveys completed and administered, as well as response rate information.

Table 2-3 presents data on the type of survey administration mode (paper, Web, or mixed mode).

Table 2-4 shows average response rate by survey mode. Paper survey administration had a higher average response rate than Web or mixed mode. It is therefore still an overall recommendation that hospitals conduct the hospital survey as a paper survey. But each hospital should consider its prior experience with survey modes and response rates when determining which mode is best.

Table 2-5 displays results for the types of staff and work areas/units surveyed within the hospitals.

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Page last reviewed October 2014
Internet Citation: Chapter 2. Survey Administration Statistics: 2011 User Comparative Database Report. October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.