Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture

In 2004, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture, a staff survey designed to help hospitals assess the culture of safety in their institutions. Since then, hundreds of hospitals across the United States and internationally have implemented the survey.

In response to requests from hospitals interested in comparing their safety culture survey results to other hospitals, AHRQ funded the development of a comparative database on the survey in 2006. The database comprises voluntarily submitted data from U.S. hospitals that administered the survey. Comparative database reports were produced in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016.

Hospital Survey Toolkit

Frequently Asked Questions

Survey Form

  • Hospital Survey—English (PDF, 327 KB; MS Word, 187 KB).
  • Facility version: Replaces the term "hospital" with "facility" (PDF, 301 KB; MS Word, 154 KB).
  • Hospital Survey—Spanish (PDF, 152 KB; MS Word, 116 KB).

Survey Items and Composites

Supplemental Items

Learn more about SOPS-approved supplemental item sets for the Hospital Survey.

Survey User's Guide

The User's Guide provides a general overview of the issues and major decisions involved in conducting a survey and reporting the results. The Guide includes information on getting started, selecting a sample, determining data collection methods, establishing data collection procedures, conducting a Web-based survey, and preparing and analyzing data, and producing reports.

Comparative Database

AHRQ has established the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database as a central repository for survey data from hospitals that have administered the AHRQ patient safety culture survey instrument. The database serves as an important resource for hospitals wishing to compare their patient safety culture survey results to those of other hospitals in support of patient safety culture improvement.

Additional Resources

Action Planning Tool (PDF File, 368.7 KB; Word, 111.77 KB)

This tool was designed primarily for users of the AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture and is intended for use after your organization administers the survey and analyzes the results. It provides step-by-step guidance to help survey users develop an action plan to improve patient safety culture.

Research Reference List

The purpose of this research reference list is to provide citations for articles published on the AHRQ safety culture surveys. It includes references on the use of the surveys; psychometric analyses; analyses linking the survey to outcome data; reviews of instruments; and international studies.

Using Just Culture To Improve Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture Results

This free Webcast from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) discussed strategies used to implement Just Culture in a health care system and how these led to improved results on the survey.


Page last reviewed December 2017
Page originally created July 2013
Internet Citation: Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. Content last reviewed December 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.