2012 User Comparative Database Report

Chapter 2. Survey Administration Statistics

This chapter presents descriptive information regarding how the 2011 database hospitals conducted survey administration. 


  • The 2012 database consists of data from 567,703 hospital staff respondents across 1,128 participating hospitals.
  • The average hospital response rate was 53 percent, with an average of 503 completed surveys per hospital.
  • Most hospitals (66 percent) administered Web surveys, which resulted in lower response rates (51 percent) compared with response rates from paper (61 percent) but higher response rates compared with mixed-mode surveys (49 percent).
  • Most hospitals (90 percent) administered the survey to all staff or a sample of all staff from all hospital departments.

The 2012 database consists of survey data from 1,128 hospitals with a total of 567,703 hospital staff respondents. Participating hospitals administered the hospital survey to their staff between January 2008 and June 2011 and voluntarily submitted their data for inclusion in the database.

Hospitals do not necessarily administer the hospital patient safety culture survey every year. They may administer it on an 18-month, 24-month, or other cycle. Therefore, the comparative database is a "rolling" indicator. Data from prior years are retained in the database when a hospital does not have new data to submit; older data are replaced with more recent data when available; and data are added from hospitals submitting for the first time.

In order to keep the database current, data more than 3.5 years old are removed. Thus, 129 hospitals that administered the survey prior to January 1, 2008, were dropped from the 2012 database. 

Overall statistics for the hospitals included in the 2012 database are shown in Table 2-1a according to when the data were submitted. The 2012 database includes 508 hospitals carried over from the 2011 report and new data submissions from 620 hospitals. As shown in Table 2-1b, the 2012 database includes 478 hospitals that submitted data to the database once and 650 trending hospitals that submitted data to the database more than once.

Table 2-2 presents data on the number of surveys completed and administered, as well as response rate information.

Table 2-3 presents data on the type of survey administration mode (paper, Web, or mixed mode).

Table 2-4 shows average response rate by survey mode. Paper survey administration had a higher average response rate than Web or mixed mode.

Table 2-5 displays results for the types of staff and work areas/units surveyed within the hospitals.

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Page last reviewed December 2012
Page originally created December 2012
Internet Citation: Chapter 2. Survey Administration Statistics. Content last reviewed December 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patientsafetyculture/hospital/2012/hosp12ch2.html