Surveys on Patient Safety Culture

As part of its goal to support a culture of patient safety and quality improvement in the Nation's health care system, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) sponsored the development of patient safety culture assessment tools for hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory outpatient medical offices, community pharmacies, and ambulatory surgery centers.

Five surveys on patient safety culture are available:

Health care organizations can use these survey assessment tools to:

  • Raise staff awareness about patient safety.
  • Diagnose and assess the current status of patient safety culture.
  • Identify strengths and areas for patient safety culture improvement.
  • Examine trends in patient safety culture change over time.
  • Evaluate the cultural impact of patient safety initiatives and interventions.
  • Conduct internal and external comparisons.

AHRQ has established comparative databases as central repositories for survey data from organizations that have administered the AHRQ patient safety culture survey instruments. The databases serve as important resources for sites wishing to compare their patient safety culture survey results to those of other sites in support of patient safety culture improvement.

The table below indicates the planned data submission time periods for the Surveys on Patient Safety Culture.

Planned Surveys on Patient Safety Culture Data Submission Periods

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture June 2013 June 2015 June 2017
Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture Oct. 2013 Oct. 2015 Sept. 2017
Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture April 2014 April 2016
Community Pharmacy Survey on Patient Safety Culture Sept. 2014

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

Additional Resources

Action Planning Tool (PDF File, 368.7 KB; Word File, 111.77 KB)—This tool was designed primarily for users of the AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture and is intended for use after your organization administers the survey and analyzes the results. It provides step-by-step guidance to help survey users develop an action plan to improve patient safety culture.

Research Reference List—The purpose of this research reference list is to provide citations for articles published on the AHRQ safety culture surveys. It includes references on the use of the surveys; psychometric analyses; analyses linking the survey to outcome data; reviews of instruments; and international studies.

Improving Response Rates on the AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture—This podcast will provide you with information on tips and tools to increase your survey response rates in your organization.

Newsletters—The newsletters are intended to help users stay informed about new developments, tools, and resources available for the surveys:

International Users

AHRQ is interested in finding out about international users of the Surveys on Patient Safety Culture. If you are an international user, please email to share information about your administration of the surveys, results, and any translations you have made of the surveys. For more information about international use of the Surveys on Patient Safety Culture, go to International Users.

Technical Assistance

Page last reviewed April 2016
Internet Citation: Surveys on Patient Safety Culture. Content last reviewed April 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.