AHRQ's Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) program began in 2001. Its purpose is to advance our scientific understanding of patient safety culture in healthcare. The acronym "SOPS" is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
What SOPS Surveys Are Available?
The SOPS program enables healthcare organizations to assess how their providers and staff perceive various aspects of patient safety culture in the following settings:
- Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture.
- Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture.
- Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety Culture
- Community Pharmacy Survey on Patient Safety Culture.
- Ambulatory Surgery Center Survey on Patient Safety Culture
Users of SOPS surveys have the option of incorporating additional questions, known as supplemental items, to customize their questionnaires.
- Supplemental Items for the SOPS Hospital Survey:
- Supplemental Items for the SOPS Medical Office Survey:
The SOPS surveys and supplemental items are publicly available for download and use; however, international users should contact SafetyCultureSurveys@westat.com for permission to use the survey outside the United States.
How Are SOPS Surveys Used?
Healthcare organizations can use these survey assessment tools to:
- Raise staff awareness about patient safety.
- Assess the current status of patient safety culture.
- Identify strengths and areas for patient safety culture improvement.
- Examine trends in patient safety culture change over time.
- Evaluate the cultural impact of patient safety initiatives and interventions.
SOPS surveys are typically reported to leadership, providers, and staff in the healthcare organizations that complete the survey to support efforts to assess and improve their own patient safety culture. Some of the surveys are used for incentive programs or are required for accreditation or reimbursement.
What Are the SOPS Databases?
AHRQ established the SOPS Databases as central repositories for survey data from each of the SOPS surveys. Healthcare organizations that administer one of the AHRQ patient safety culture surveys can voluntarily submit their data to the appropriate database. View the video Why Submit Data to the AHRQ SOPS Databases.
What Is Patient Safety Culture?
Patient safety culture is the extent to which an organization's culture supports and promotes patient safety. Patient safety culture refers to the beliefs, values, and norms that are shared by healthcare practitioners and other staff throughout the organization that influence their actions and behaviors. Patient safety culture can be measured by determining what is rewarded, supported, expected, and accepted in an organization as it relates to patient safety.
What Does the SOPS Program Do?
Under the SOPS program, AHRQ funds research on patient safety culture and with its contractor, develops and maintains the SOPS surveys, toolkit materials, and databases; provides technical assistance and education; and promotes the use of the surveys for patient safety culture improvement.
Read SOPS program Brief: SOPS: Assessing Patient Safety Culture From a Provider and Staff Perspective (PDF, 490 KB).
Where Can I Find More Information About the SOPS Program and Surveys?
Using the SOPS name—Guidelines for using the trademarked SOPS name when referring to the program and its many products support appropriate and consistent use of the SOPS trademark.
FAQs—Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) offer answers to dozens of questions about the SOPS program and its surveys.
Additional Resources—The SOPS program offers resources to assist survey users, including an Action Planning Tool, Data Entry and Analysis Tool, improvement resources, SOPS Bibliography, and frequently asked questions.
International Use—Learn more about international use of the SOPS surveys.
Announcement Email Updates—Sign up SOPS subscription announcement email updates.