Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture

In 2004, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture, a staff survey designed to help hospitals assess the culture of safety in their institutions. Since then, hundreds of hospitals across the United States and internationally have implemented the survey.

In response to requests from hospitals interested in comparing their safety culture survey results to other hospitals, AHRQ funded the development of a comparative database on the survey in 2006. The database comprises voluntarily submitted data from U.S. hospitals that administered the survey. Comparative database reports were produced in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2014.

Hospital Survey Toolkit

Frequently Asked Questions

Survey Form

Survey Items and Dimensions

Survey User's Guide

The User's Guide provides a general overview of the issues and major decisions involved in conducting a survey and reporting the results. The Guide includes information on getting started, selecting a sample, determining data collection methods, establishing data collection procedures, conducting a Web-based survey, and preparing and analyzing data, and producing reports.

Comparative Database

AHRQ has established the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database as a central repository for survey data from hospitals that have administered the AHRQ patient safety culture survey instrument. The database serves as an important resource for hospitals wishing to compare their patient safety culture survey results to those of other hospitals in support of patient safety culture improvement. 

The table below indicates the planned data submission time periods for the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (June 2015 and June 2017).

Planned Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Data Submission Periods

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture June 2013 June 2015 June 2017

Note: "—" indicates that there is no data submission for that year.

Submission Information—For hospitals interested in submitting their hospital patient safety culture survey data.

Data Use Agreement ( PDF Version [ PDF file - 82.24 KB] )—States how data submitted by hospitals will be used and provides confidentiality assurances.

2014 Hospital Comparative Database Report ( PDF Version [PDF file Report - 2.4 MB; Appendixes, 3.5 MB] )—Based on data from 653 U.S. hospitals, the 2014 user comparative database report provides initial results that hospitals can use to compare their patient safety culture to other U.S. hospitals. In addition, the 2014 report presents results showing change over time for 359 hospitals that submitted data more than once. The report consists of a narrative description of the findings and four appendixes, presenting data by hospital characteristics and respondent characteristics for the database hospitals overall and separately for the 359 trending hospitals.

Research Datasets: Hospital Comparative Database Data Files—Provides information and application instructions for researchers interested in obtaining deidentified and hospital-identifiable data files from the Comparative Database to conduct research in support of health care improvement.

Previous Database Reports

2012 Hospital Comparative Database Report ( PDF Version [PDF file Report - 1.6 MB; Appendixes, 1.6 MB] )—The 2012 report consists of data from 567,703 hospital staff in 1,128 hospitals. This report also presents results showing change over time for 650 hospitals that submitted data more than once.

2011 Hospital Comparative Database Report—The 2011 report consists of data from 472,397 hospital staff in 1,032 hospitals. This report also presents results showing change over time for 512 hospitals that submitted data more than once.

Page last reviewed October 2014
Internet Citation: Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patientsafetyculture/hospital/index.html