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 instrument.

Purpose of the Database

  • To gather data from the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture into a central repository. Hospitals can compare their patient safety culture survey results with those of other hospitals in support of patient safety culture improvement efforts.
  • To produce average scores and percentiles for the survey items and composites in order 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.
  • Aggregate hospital-level statistics (averages, standard deviations, minimum and maximum scores, and percentiles) on the patient safety culture areas or composites and items are available free to the public in the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture: 2011 Comparative Database Report at http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patientsafetyculture/hospital/2011/index.html.  The document does not include any information identifying participating hospitals.
  • Additional database breakouts 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.

The comparative database is a "rolling" comparison that retains data from prior years when a hospital does not have new data to submit, replaces older data with more recent data when it is available, and adds new data from hospitals submitting for the first time. The comparative database report will be produced yearly through at least 2012.

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

Update: There is no data submission in May/June 2012 for the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database. AHRQ is in the process of reestablishing the timeframe and frequency for future periods for submission of data and plans to inform users/those interested in submitting data once those dates have been determined.

  • 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 E-mail with "Hospital Database" in the subject line to DatabasesOnSafetyCulture@ahrq.hhs.gov.
  • 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 are:
    1. Given data specifications ( PDF file PDF version - 325.03 KB ) for formatting data files for submission.
    2. Asked to 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.
    3. Asked to sign a Data Use Agreement ( PDF file PDF version - 300.27 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 individual-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 will be processed, and averages, standard deviations, minimum and maximum scores, and percentiles will be produced.
  • Additional breakouts 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) will be produced.
  • Trend results showing patient safety culture change over time for resubmitting hospitals will be presented.
  • 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 and in a limited number of printed copies.

Contact Information

If you are interested in participating in the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database, send an E-mail to: DatabasesOnSafetyCulture@ahrq.hhs.gov with your complete contact information and "Hospital Database" in the subject line.

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

Current as of June 2012
Internet Citation: Hospital Comparative Database Submission Information. June 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patientsafetyculture/hospital/resources/y2dbsubmission.html