SOPS Hospital Database Submission Information

Many hospitals using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS™) Hospital Survey have expressed interest in comparing their results with other hospitals. In response, AHRQ has established the SOPS Hospital Database. This Database is a central repository for survey data from hospitals that have administered the following surveys.

  • SOPS Hospital Survey Version 1.0 with or without supplemental items:
    • Health Information Technology Patient Safety Supplemental Items. 
    • Value and Efficiency Supplemental Items. 
  • SOPS Hospital Survey Version 2.0 (NEW) with or without supplemental items:
    • Health Information Technology Patient Safety Supplemental Items. 
    • Value and Efficiency Supplemental items.

NEW: The SOPS Hospital Database will accept data from both Versions 1.0 and 2.0 in June 2020, but Version 1.0 data will no longer be accepted in the Database in June 2022. The Database will also accept data from the Health Information Technology (Health IT) Patient Safety and Value and Efficiency Supplemental Items that have been administered with either version of the SOPS Hospital Survey.

Purpose of the Database

  • To establish a central repository for data from the SOPS Hospital Survey Version 1.0 and Version 2.0, and accompanying Health IT Patient Safety and Value and Efficiency Supplemental Items.
  • To produce results to help hospitals identify strengths and opportunities for improvement in their patient safety culture.
  • To track change in patient safety culture over time when hospitals submit to the Database more than once.

Benefits of Participation and Database Products

  • Each participating hospital receives a feedback report comparing their results to the Database.
  • A free Database Report is produced providing aggregate hospital-level statistics. The documents do not include any information identifying participating hospitals.
  • Additional results by hospital characteristics (bed size, teaching status, ownership and control, region) and respondent characteristics (e.g., hospital work area/unit, staff position, interaction with patients) are also available in the Database Report.

Participation Requirements

  • All types of hospitals are eligible, from acute care to rehabilitation and psychiatric hospitals, but the hospital must be located in the United States or in a U.S. territory.
  • The survey must have been administered in its entirety without modifications or deletions. Your survey will not be accepted if:
    • You made changes to any of the survey item text and/or response options, with the exception of the Background Questions.
    • You reordered the survey items.
    • You deleted one or more survey items, with the exception of the Background Questions.
    • You added questions within the core survey, before the background questions (Section H of the SOPS Hospital Survey 1.0, and Section G of the SOPS Hospital Survey Version 2.0.)

Timeline and Activities

 Registration and Data Submission

Upcoming data submission for the SOPS Hospital Survey, Version 1.0 and Version 2.0, and Health Information Technology Patient Safety, and Value and Efficiency Supplemental Items will be open from June 1-July 20, 2020.

  1. Hospitals, health systems or survey vendors interested in submitting data to the SOPS Hospital Database should send an email with "Hospital Database" in the subject line to DatabasesOnSafetyCulture@westat.com.
  2. Database staff send registration information to interested submitters.
  3. Hospitals, health systems, or vendors submitting on behalf of hospitals complete registration information.
  4. Database staff review the registration information and request a copy of the survey(s) actually administered. Interested submitters are notified regarding their eligibility for participation.
  5. Eligible hospitals, health systems, or vendors should:
    1. Follow these survey data specifications for formatting respondent-level data files for submission:

      SOPS Hospital Survey Version 1.0:

      SOPS Hospital Survey Version 2.0:

    2. Provide Medicare Provider ID and hospital characteristics such as bed size, ownership, and teaching status. American Hospital Association (AHA)-registered hospitals must provide AHA ID. Follow these site-level data file specifications  (PDF, 249 KB) to gather hospital characteristics.
    3. Sign a Data Use Agreement (PDF, 812 KB), which assures hospitals about the confidentiality of their data and explains how their data will be used.
  6. Eligible hospitals, health systems, or their survey vendors submit respondent-level survey data and other required information about their institutions.
    1. Data are submitted using a secure, Web-based system.
    2. Data files must meet data specifications.

Data Processing and Database Report Produced

  • The data submitted are processed, and averages, standard deviations, minimum and maximum scores, and percentiles are produced.
  • Additional results of the data by hospital characteristics (bed size, teaching status, ownership and control, region) and respondent characteristics (hospital work area/unit, staff position, interaction with patients, tenure within work area/unit) are produced.
  • Trend results showing patient safety culture change over time for resubmitting hospitals are presented.
  • The most recent Hospital Database Report presents data from U.S. hospitals that administered the survey and voluntarily submitted their data to the Database. The report consists of a narrrative description of the findings and appendixes presenting data by hospital characteristics and respondent characteristics for the Database hospitals overall and separately for trending hospitals. The report contains data voluntarily submitted by participating hospitals and is not representative of all U.S. hospitals.

Contact Information

If you are interested in participating in the SOPS Hospital Database, send an email to: DatabasesOnSafetyCulture@westat.com with your complete contact information and "Hospital Database" in the subject line.

For technical assistance on data submission, call 1-888-324-9790.

Page last reviewed October 2019
Page originally created November 2012
Internet Citation: SOPS Hospital Database Submission Information. Content last reviewed October 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://www.ahrq.gov/sops/databases/hospital/databases/submission.html
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