Florida Hospital Uses AHRQ Survey to Assess Employees' Views of Patient Safety

Patient Safety
August 2005

Indian River Memorial Hospital in Vero Beach, Florida, implemented the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture in late summer 2004 to examine employee perceptions of patient safety in the facility. Over half of the staff responded with their views on patient safety in the hospital.

Indian River Memorial wanted to establish a baseline measurement and determine if a past perception of mistrust that had been noted was dissipating. Hospital officials decided to use the AHRQ-funded survey because it is evidence-based and easily administered either on the Web or on paper. In addition, technical support was available during the administration and evaluation of the survey, and it can be used across the organization.

Of the approximately 1,200 hospital staff members who were surveyed—clinical and nonclinical personnel—620 (52 percent) responded. Of the total responses, 75 percent represented the views of clinical staff members. Officials found that overall responses were more positive than anticipated. To compare results, Indian River plans to administer the survey again a year later.

Barbara Horne, Vice President of Nursing/CNO at Indian River, notes that the high response rate was primarily due to the incentive of a meal coupon generated by the computer upon completion of the survey.

Horne comments, "One of our greatest challenges has been implementing actions to improve our scores. We recently provided a program from the Healthcare Advisory Board, Inc., of Washington, DC, to assist managers in setting patient safety priorities in their specific work areas."

Indian River Memorial is a 335-bed, not-for-profit community hospital. It is a member of Premier, Inc., a not-for-profit health care alliance composed of 200 hospitals and health care systems, representing some 1,500 hospital facilities and hundreds of other care sites in the U.S.

Impact Case Study Identifier: 
AHRQ Product(s): Research
Topics(s): Patient Safety
Geographic Location: Florida
Implementer: Indian River Memorial Hospital
Date: 08/01/2005

Sexton JB, Thomas EJ. The Safety Climate Survey: Psychometric and Benchmarking Properties. Technical Report 03-03. The University of Texas Center of Excellence for Patient Safety Research and Practice. December 2003. (HS1154401 and HS1116401).

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