Hospital Comparative Database Submission Information

Many hospitals using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture have expressed interest in comparing their results to other hospitals. In response, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has established the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database. This database is a central repository for survey data from hospitals that have administered the AHRQ patient safety culture survey.

Purpose of the Database

  • To gather data from the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture into a central repository for comparative purposes.
  • To produce comparative results to help hospitals identify strengths and opportunities for improvement in their patient safety culture.
  • To track change in patient safety culture over time when hospitals submit to the database more than once.

Benefits of Participation and Database Products

  • Each participating hospital receives a feedback report comparing their results to the comparative database.
  • A free Comparative Database Report is produced providing aggregate hospital-level statistics. The documents do not include any information identifying participating hospitals.
  • Additional results by hospital characteristics (bed size, teaching status, ownership and control, region) and respondent characteristics (hospital work area/unit, staff position, interaction with patients) are also available in the most recent Comparative Database Report.

Participation Requirements

  • All types of hospitals are eligible, from acute care to rehabilitation and psychiatric hospitals, but the hospital must be located in the United States or in a U.S. territory.
  • The survey must have been administered in its entirety without significant modifications or deletions:
    • No changes to any of the survey item text and response options.
    • No reordering of survey items.
    • Questions added only at the end of the survey after Section G, before the demographic questions in Section H.

Timeline and Activities 

Registration and Data Submission

Data submission will be open June 1-19, 2015.

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.

  • Step 1: Hospitals, health systems or survey vendors that have administered the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture indicate their interest in participating in the database by sending an Email with "Hospital Database" in the subject line to DatabasesOnSafetyCulture@westat.com.
  • Step 2: Database staff send registration information to interested submitters.
  • Step 3: Hospitals, health systems, or vendors submitting on behalf of hospitals complete registration information.
  • Step 4: Database staff review the registration information and request a copy of the survey(s) actually administered. Interested submitters are notified regarding their eligibility for participation.
  • Step 5: Eligible hospitals, health systems, or vendors:
    1. Should follow these survey data specifications ( PDF file PDF version - 90.9 KB ) for formatting respondent-level data files for submission.
    2. Provide Medicare Provider ID and hospital characteristics such as bed size, ownership, and teaching status. American Hospital Association (AHA)-registered hospitals must provide AHA ID. Follow these specifications ( PDF file PDF version – 40.8 KB ) to gather hospital characteristics.
    3. Sign a Data Use Agreement ( PDF file PDF version - 82.24 KB ), which assures hospitals about the confidentiality of their data and explains how their data will be used.
  • Step 6: Eligible hospitals, health systems, or their survey vendors submit respondent-level survey data and other required information about their institutions.
    1. Data are submitted using a secure, Web-based system.
    2. Data files must meet data specifications.

Data Processing and Comparative Database Report Produced

  • The data submitted are processed, and averages, standard deviations, minimum and maximum scores, and percentiles are produced.
  • Additional results of the data by hospital characteristics (bed size, teaching status, ownership and control, region) and respondent characteristics (hospital work area/unit, staff position, interaction with patients, tenure within work area/unit) are produced.
  • Trend results showing patient safety culture change over time for resubmitting hospitals are presented.
  • A 2014 User Comparative Database Report presents data from 405,281 staff within 653 U.S. hospitals. The full report contains detailed comparative data for various hospital characteristics (bed size, teaching status, ownership and control, region) and respondent characteristics (hospital work area/unit, staff position, interaction with patients, tenure in work area/unit).
  • A Comparative Database Report based on the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture items and composites will be made available without cost in the public domain on the AHRQ Web site.

Contact Information

If you are interested in participating in the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database, send an Email to: DatabasesOnSafetyCulture@westat.com with your complete contact information and "Hospital Database" in the subject line.

For technical assistance on data submission, call 1-888-324-9790.

Page last reviewed June 2014
Internet Citation: Hospital Comparative Database Submission Information. June 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patientsafetyculture/hospital/resources/y2dbsubmission.html