Table 1-1. Patient Safety Culture Composites and Definitions

2011 User Comparative Database Report

Patient Safety Culture CompositeDefinition: The extent to which...
1. Communication opennessStaff freely speak up if they see something that may negatively affect a patient and feel free to question those with more authority
2. Feedback & communication about errorStaff are informed about errors that happen, given feedback about changes implemented, and discuss ways to prevent errors
3. Frequency of events reportedMistakes of the following types are reported:
  1. Mistakes caught and corrected before affecting the patient
  2. Mistakes with no potential to harm the patient, and
  3. Mistakes that could harm the patient, but do not
4. Handoffs and transitionsImportant patient care information is transferred across hospital units and during shift changes
5. Management support for patient safetyHospital management provides a work climate that promotes patient safety and shows that patient safety is a top priority
6. Nonpunitive response to errorStaff feel that their mistakes and event reports are not held against them and that mistakes are not kept in their personnel file
7. Organizational learning—Continuous improvementMistakes have led to positive changes and changes are evaluated for effectiveness
8. Overall perceptions of patient safetyProcedures and systems are good at preventing errors and there is a lack of patient safety problems
9. StaffingThere are enough staff to handle the workload and work hours are appropriate to provide the best care for patients
10. Supervisor/manager expectations and actions promoting safetySupervisors/managers consider staff suggestions for improving patient safety, praise staff for following patient safety procedures, and do not overlook patient safety problems
11. Teamwork across unitsHospital units cooperate and coordinate with one another to provide the best care for patients
12. Teamwork within unitsStaff support each other, treat each other with respect, and work together as a team

Return to Document

Page last reviewed October 2014
Internet Citation: Table 1-1. Patient Safety Culture Composites and Definitions: 2011 User Comparative Database Report. October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.