Assessing Office Readiness

Toolkit for Improving Your Office Testing Process

The Office Readiness Survey will help you assess staff and physician attitudes about working together. It will also show how well staff and physicians recognize and use office policies and procedures for managing the testing process.

Use this survey to assess changes in staff attitudes by comparing responses before and after implementing a change in your office. You will find the survey at the end of this section.

Using the Survey

  • We recommend that offices with little or no quality improvement experience start with this survey.
  • You can administer the survey, rapidly score it, and present and discuss the results at an office meeting.
  • You should have everyone in your office (e.g., clinician, case manager, receptionist, medical assistant, nurse) complete the survey anonymously.
  • Be sure to set a deadline for staff to complete the survey. Give the scorer enough time to compile the responses and prepare the results, including a summary of any handwritten comments, for presentation at a staff meeting.

Scoring the Responses Photo depicts a male health care provider and male patient in conversation.

Number each completed survey.

  1. Place each survey over the scoring sheet provided in this toolkit and line up the tops of the two pages.
  2. Align the right edge of the survey sheet to the scoring sheet column with the matching survey number.
  3. Put a check mark in each box in the column when the survey response is 1, 2, or 3 (Figure 3).
  4. Repeat for each survey.
  5. Count the number of checked boxes in each row and put the total in the right hand column.
  6. Highlight those items where the number of checked boxes is more than half the number of completed surveys.
  7. Check for handwritten comments; compile comments and look for recurring issues.

Figure 3. Using the Office Readiness Survey and Scoring Sheet

Figure shows an example of a completed office readiness survey and the scoring sheet used to evaluate survey responses.

Interpreting the Results

  • Highlighted practice improvement items (items 1-5) point to areas where staff have identified a problem in working together.
  • Highlighted quality and safety items (items 6-10) point to areas with a potential quality or safety problem.
  • When responses indicate a problem for either practice improvement or quality and safety, you should take the time to explore the issues as a group before undertaking a specific practice improvement project.
  • To obtain a more detailed assessment of staff attitudes, consider using AHRQ's Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture at http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patientsafetyculture/medical-office/.

Office Readiness and Patient Safety

We know that:

  • Offices and systems vary, so there is no single "best" office system. Effective systems must function within each office's environment.
  • Offices with a team approach to patient care, good communication among all staff, mutual trust and support, and a commitment to patient safety are more likely to discuss mistakes and problems.
  • Offices with fewer testing errors and greater patient safety have:
    • Written procedures that are readily available to all staff.
    • A process for updating and informing staff of changes in office procedures.
    • Office systems that focus on and support collaboration among staff rather than individual performance.

Office Readiness Survey

Date: _____________ Survey No. _________________

This tool can be used to assess your office's readiness for quality and safety improvement. Circle the number between 1 and 5 that most accurately describes how you feel about your office.

Practice
Improvement
Strongly
Disagree
DisagreeNeither
Agree nor
Disagree
AgreeStrongly
Agree
1. The leadership
(e.g., medical director, office manager, head
nurse, or other leader) at this office
demonstrates a commitment to quality
and patient safety.
12345
2. Communication among staff, physicians,
and leadership promotes mutual respect
and trust.
12345
3. All staff in this office work as a team.12345
4. All staff are asked to provide input on
decisions about office processes.
12345
5. Monthly meetings are held, and quality of
care is a regular item on the agenda.
12345

Comments:

Quality and Safety
of the Testing Process
Strongly
Disagree
DisagreeNeither
Agree nor
Disagree
AgreeStrongly
Agree
6. This office has written procedures
describing how to handle testing and
test results.
12345
7. Everyone in this office has read and follows
the testing procedures.
12345
8. Medical testing errors in this office do not
harm patients.
12345
9. Providers and staff openly discuss causes
and effects of errors.
12345
10. This office has systems to prevent, catch,
and/or correct problems in the testing
process.
12345

Office Readiness Survey Scoring Sheet

Instructions:

1. Number each survey.
2. Place each survey over the scoring sheet and line up the tops of the two pages.
3. Align the right edge of the survey sheet to the column with the same survey number.
4. Put a check in each box of the column when the response selected was 1, 2, or 3. 5. Repeat for each completed survey.
6. Count the number of checked boxes in each row, and put the total in the right hand column.
7. Highlight those items where the number of checked boxes is more than half the number of completed surveys.
8. Refer to the instructions for this toolkit to interpret results.

Survey
No.
12345678910111213141516Total of
checked
boxes
Practice Improvement
1.                 
2.                 
3.                 
4.                 
5.                 
Quality and Safety of the Testing Process
6.                 
7.                 
8.                 
9.                 
10.                 
Page last reviewed August 2013
Internet Citation: Assessing Office Readiness: Toolkit for Improving Your Office Testing Process. August 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/quality-resources/tools/office-testing-toolkit/officetesting-toolkit4.html