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Table 1-1. Patient Safety Culture Composites and Definitions

2012 User Comparative Database Report: Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture

Patient Safety Culture CompositeDefinition: The extent to which...
1. Communication About ErrorStaff are willing to report mistakes they observe and do not feel like their mistakes are held against them, and providers and staff talk openly about office problems and how to prevent errors from happening.
2. Communication OpennessProviders in the office are open to staff ideas about how to improve office processes, and staff are encouraged to express alternative viewpoints and do not find it difficult to voice disagreement.
3. Office Processes and StandardizationThe office is organized, has an effective workflow, has standardized processes for completing tasks, and has good procedures for checking the accuracy of work performed.
4. Organizational LearningThe office has a learning culture that facilitates making changes in office processes to improve the quality of patient care and evaluates changes for effectiveness.
5. Overall Perceptions of Patient Safety and QualityThe quality of patient care is more important than getting more work done, office processes are good at preventing mistakes, and mistakes do not happen more than they should.
6. Owner/Managing Partner/Leadership Support for Patient SafetyOffice leadership actively supports quality and patient safety, places a high priority on improving patient care processes, does not overlook mistakes, and makes decisions based on what is best for patients.
7. Patient Care Tracking/Follow-upThe office reminds patients about appointments, documents how well patients follow treatment plans, follows up with patients who need monitoring, and follows up when reports from an outside provider are not received.
8. Staff TrainingThe office provides staff with effective on-the-job training, trains staff on new processes, and does not assign staff tasks they have not been trained to perform.
9. TeamworkThe office has a culture of teamwork, mutual respect, and close working relationships among staff and providers.
10.  Work Pressure and PaceThere are enough staff and providers to handle the patient load, and the office work pace is not hectic.

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Page last reviewed October 2014
Internet Citation: Table 1-1. Patient Safety Culture Composites and Definitions: 2012 User Comparative Database Report: Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture. October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.