Executive Summary

Table 1-1. Patient Safety Culture Composites and Definitions

Patient Safety Culture Composite Definition: The extent to which...
1. Communication About Error Staff 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 Openness Providers 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 Standardization The 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 Learning The 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 Quality The 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 Safety Office 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-up The 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 Training The 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. Teamwork The office has a culture of teamwork, mutual respect, and close working relationships among staff and providers.
10.  Work Pressure and Pace There 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
Page originally created September 2012
Internet Citation: Table 1-1. Patient Safety Culture Composites and Definitions. Content last reviewed October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patientsafetyculture/medical-office/2012/mosurv12tab1-1.html