User's Guide


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the lead Federal agency charged with conducting and supporting research to improve patient safety and health care quality for all Americans. AHRQ's goal is to support a culture of safety and quality improvement in the Nation's health care system that will help speed the adoption of research findings into practice and policy.

To that end, AHRQ has sponsored the development of this survey on patient safety culture. This tool is useful for assessing the safety culture of a hospital as a whole, or for specific units within hospitals. Moreover, the survey can be used to track changes in patient safety over time and to evaluate the impact of patient safety interventions.

In addition, since 2001, AHRQ has supported a wide range of other patient safety research to develop innovative approaches to collecting, analyzing, and reporting patient safety data; understanding the impact of working conditions on patient safety, including the sciences of ergonomics and human factors; and fostering the use of information technology to reduce medical errors.

As a result, many other patient safety products and tools also are available from the Agency. These can be found on AHRQ's Web site, at, or by calling AHRQ's Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295.

I hope that this survey, as well as AHRQ's other patient safety tools, will be useful in helping you to ensure that your hospital or health care facility is as safe as possible and, as a result, will help us to achieve the vision that we all share—a health care system in which patients are never harmed in the course of receiving care.

Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

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Page last reviewed November 2014
Internet Citation: Preface. November 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.