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1.  Linking patient satisfaction with nursing care: the case of care rationing - a correlational study 
BMC Nursing  2014;13:26.
Implicit rationing of nursing care is the withholding of or failure to carry out all necessary nursing measures due to lack of resources. There is evidence supporting a link between rationing of nursing care, nurses’ perceptions of their professional environment, negative patient outcomes, and placing patient safety at risk. The aims of the study were:
a) To explore whether patient satisfaction is linked to nurse-reported rationing of nursing care and to nurses’ perceptions of their practice environment while adjusting for patient and nurse characteristics.
b) To identify the threshold score of rationing by comparing the level of patient satisfaction factors across rationing levels.
A descriptive, correlational design was employed. Participants in this study included 352 patients and 318 nurses from ten medical and surgical units of five general hospitals. Three measurement instruments were used: the BERNCA scale for rationing of care, the RPPE scale to explore nurses’ perceptions of their work environment and the Patient Satisfaction scale to assess the level of patient satisfaction with nursing care. The statistical analysis included the use of Kendall’s correlation coefficient to explore a possible relationship between the variables and multiple regression analysis to assess the effects of implicit rationing of nursing care together with organizational characteristics on patient satisfaction.
The mean score of implicit rationing of nursing care was 0.83 (SD = 0.52, range = 0–3), the overall mean of RPPE was 2.76 (SD = 0.32, range = 1.28 – 3.69) and the two scales were significantly correlated (τ = −0.234, p < 0.001). The regression analysis showed that care rationing and work environment were related to patient satisfaction, even after controlling for nurse and patient characteristics. The results from the adjusted regression models showed that even at the lowest level of rationing (i.e. 0.5) patients indicated low satisfaction.
The results support the relationships between organizational and environmental variables, care rationing and patient satisfaction. The identification of thresholds at which rationing starts to influence patient outcomes in a negative way may allow nurse managers to introduce interventions so as to keep rationing at a level at which patient safety is not jeopardized.
PMCID: PMC4184047  PMID: 25285040
Nursing care; Rationing; Patient satisfaction; Professional environment
2.  Systematic simulation-based team training in a Swedish intensive care unit: a diverse response among critical care professions 
BMJ quality & safety  2013;22(6):485-494.
Teamwork—that is, collaboration and communication—is an important factor for safe healthcare, but professions perceive the quality of teamwork differently.
To examine the relationship between simulation-based team training (SBTT) and different professions’ self-efficacy, experienced quality of collaboration and communication, perceptions of teamwork and safety, together with staff turnover.
All staff (n=151; physicians, nurses and nurse assistants) in an intensive care unit (ICU) at a university hospital were systematically trained over 2 years. Data on individual self-efficacy were measured using the self-efficacy questionnaire; the experienced quality of collaboration and communication, teamwork climate, safety climate and perception of working conditions were sampled using the ICU version of the safety attitudes questionnaire (SAQ). Staff turnover and sick leave was measured using the hospital's staff administration system for the intervention ICU and a control ICU in the same hospital.
The perception of safety differed between professions before training. Nurses’ and physicians’ mean self-efficacy scores improved, and nurse assistants’ perceived quality of collaboration and communication with physician specialists improved after training. Nurse assistants’ perception of the SAQ factors teamwork climate, safety climate and working conditions were more positive after the project as well as nurses’ perception of safety climate. The number of nurses quitting their job and nurse assistants’ time on sick leave was reduced in comparison to the control ICU during the study period.
Results for SAQ factors must be interpreted with caution given that Cronbach's α and inter-correlations for the SAQ factors showed lower values than benchmarking data.
All team members benefited from the SBTT in an authentic composed team, but this was expressed differently for the respective professions.
PMCID: PMC3711495  PMID: 23412932
Team training; Crew resource management; Critical care; Safety culture; Simulation
3.  Are teamwork and professional autonomy compatible, and do they result in improved hospital care? 
Quality in Health Care : QHC  2001;10(Suppl 2):ii32-ii37.
A postal questionnaire survey of 10 022 staff nurses in 32 hospitals in England was undertaken to explore the relationship between interdisciplinary teamwork and nurse autonomy on patient and nurse outcomes and nurse assessed quality of care. The key variables of nursing autonomy, control over resources, relationship with doctors, emotional exhaustion, and decision making were found to correlate with one another as well as having a relationship with nurse assessed quality of care and nurse satisfaction. Nursing autonomy was positively correlated with better perceptions of the quality of care delivered and higher levels of job satisfaction. Analysis of team working by job characteristics showed a small but significant difference in the level of teamwork between full time and part time nurses. No significant differences were found by type of contract (permanent v short term), speciality of ward/unit, shift length, or job title. Nurses with higher teamwork scores were significantly more likely to be satisfied with their jobs, planned to stay in them, and had lower burnout scores. Higher teamwork scores were associated with higher levels of nurse assessed quality of care, perceived quality improvement over the last year, and confidence that patients could manage their care when discharged. Nurses with higher teamwork scores also exhibited higher levels of autonomy and were more involved in decision making. A strong association was found between teamwork and autonomy; this interaction suggests synergy rather than conflict. Organisations should therefore be encouraged to promote nurse autonomy without fearing that it might undermine teamwork.
Key Words: teamwork; nursing autonomy; interprofessional working; quality of care
PMCID: PMC1765758  PMID: 11700377
4.  The impact of nurse working hours on patient safety culture: a cross-national survey including Japan, the United States and Chinese Taiwan using the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture 
A positive patient safety culture (PSC) is one of the most critical components to improve healthcare quality and safety. The Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (HSOPS), developed by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, has been used to assess PSC in 31 countries. However, little is known about the impact of nurse working hours on PSC. We hypothesized that long nurse working hours would deteriorate PSC, and that the deterioration patterns would vary between countries. Moreover, the common trends observed in Japan, the US and Chinese Taiwan may be useful to improve PSC in other countries. The purpose of this study was to clarify the impact of long nurse working hours on PSC in Japan, the US, and Chinese Taiwan using HSOPS.
The HSOPS questionnaire measures 12 sub-dimensions of PSC, with higher scores indicating a more positive PSC. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using a generalized linear mixed model to evaluate the impact of working hours on PSC outcome measures (patient safety grade and number of events reported). Tukey’s test and Cohen’s d values were used to verify the relationships between nurse working hours and the 12 sub-dimensions of PSC.
Nurses working ≥60 h/week in Japan and the US had a significantly lower OR for patient safety grade than those working <40 h/week. In the three countries, nurses working ≥40 h/week had a significantly higher OR for the number of events reported. The mean score on ‘staffing’ was significantly lower in the ≥60-h group than in the <40-h group in all the three countries. The mean score for ‘teamwork within units’ was significantly lower in the ≥60-h group than in the <40-h group in Japan and Chinese Taiwan.
Patient safety grade deteriorated and the number of events reported increased with long working hours. Among the 12 sub-dimensions of PSC, long working hours had an impact on ‘staffing’ and ‘teamwork within units’ in Japan, the US and Chinese Taiwan.
PMCID: PMC3852210  PMID: 24099314
Patient safety; Patient safety culture; Nurse working hours; Adverse events
5.  Validity and reliability of Turkish version of "Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture" and perception of patient safety in public hospitals in Turkey 
The Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (HSOPS) is used to assess safety culture in many countries. Accordingly, the questionnaire has been translated into Turkish for the study of patient safety culture in Turkish hospitals. The aim of this study is threefold: to determine the validity and reliability of the translated form of HSOPS, to evaluate physicians' and nurses' perceptions of patient safety in Turkish public hospitals, and to compare finding with U.S. hospital settings.
Physicians and nurses working in all public hospitals in Konya, a large city in Turkey, were asked to complete a self-administrated patient safety culture survey (n = 309). Data collection was carried out using the Turkish version of HSOPS, developed by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Data were summarized as percentages, means, and SD values. Factor analysis, correlation coefficient, Cronbach's alpha, ANOVA, and t tests were employed in statistical analyses. Items on patient safety were categorized into 10 factors. Factor loadings and internal consistencies of dimension items were high.
Most of the scores related to dimensions, and the overall patient safety score (44%) were lower than the benchmark score. "Teamwork within hospital units" received the highest score (70%), and the lowest score belonged to the "frequency of events reported" (15%). The study revealed that more than three quarters of the physicians and nurses were not reporting errors.
The Turkish version of HSOPS was found to be valid and reliable in determining patient safety culture. This tool will be helpful in tracking improvements and in heightening awareness on patient safety culture in Turkey.
PMCID: PMC2835702  PMID: 20109186
6.  The safety attitudes questionnaire – ambulatory version: psychometric properties of the Norwegian translated version for the primary care setting 
Patient safety culture is how leader and staff interaction, attitudes, routines and practices protect patients from adverse events in healthcare. The Safety Attitudes Questionnaire is the most widely used instrument to measure safety attitudes among health care providers. The instrument may identify possible weaknesses in clinical settings, and motivate and guide quality improvement interventions and reductions in medical errors. The Safety Attitudes Questionnaire – Ambulatory Version was developed for measuring safety culture in the primary care setting. The original version includes six major patient safety factors: Teamwork climate, Safety climate, Job satisfaction, Perceptions of management, Working conditions and Stress recognition. We describe the results of a validation study using the Norwegian translation of the questionnaire in the primary care setting, and present the psychometric properties of this version.
The study was done in seven Out-of-hours casualty clinics and 17 regular GP practices employing a total of 510 primary health care providers (194 nurses and 316 medical doctors). In October and November 2012, the translated Safety Attitudes Questionnaire – Ambulatory Version was distributed by e-mail. Data were collected electronically using the program QuestBack, whereby the participants responded anonymously. SPSS was used to estimate the Cronbach’s alphas, item-to-own-factor correlations, intercorrelations of factors and item-descriptive statistics. The confirmatory factor analysis was done by AMOS.
Of the 510 invited health care providers, 266 (52%) answered the questionnaire - 72% of the registered nurses (n = 139) and 39% of the medical doctors (n = 124). In the confirmatory factor analysis, the following five factor model was shown to have acceptable goodness-of-fit values in the Norwegian primary care setting: Teamwork climate, Safety climate, Job satisfaction, Working conditions and Perceptions of management.
The results of our study indicate that the Norwegian translated version of the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire – Ambulatory Version, with the five confirmed factors, might be a useful tool for measuring several aspects of patient safety culture in the primary care setting. Further research should investigate whether there is an association between patient safety culture in primary care, as measured by the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire – Ambulatory Version, and occurrence of medical errors and negative patient outcome.
PMCID: PMC3994245  PMID: 24678764
Adverse events; General practice; Medical errors; Out-of-hours; Patient safety culture; Primary care; Quality improvement; Safety attitudes questionnaire
7.  Patient safety culture in a large teaching hospital in Riyadh: baseline assessment, comparative analysis and opportunities for improvement 
In light of the immense attention given to patient safety, this paper details the findings of a baseline assessment of the patient safety culture in a large hospital in Riyadh and compares results with regional and international studies that utilized the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. This study also aims to explore the association between patient safety culture predictors and outcomes, considering respondent characteristics and facility size.
This cross sectional study adopted a customized version of the HSOPSC and targeted hospital staff fitting sampling criteria (physicians, nurses, clinical and non-clinical staff, pharmacy and laboratory staff, dietary and radiology staff, supervisors, and hospital managers).
3000 questionnaires were sent and 2572 were returned (response rate of 85.7%). Areas of strength were Organizational Learning and Continuous Improvement and Teamwork within units whereas areas requiring improvement were hospital non-punitive response to error, staffing, and Communication Openness. The comparative analysis noted several areas requiring improvement when results on survey composites were compared with results from Lebanon, and the United States. Regression analysis showed associations between higher patient safety aggregate score and greater age (46 years and above), longer work experience, having a Baccalaureate degree, and being a physician or other health professional.
Patient safety practices are crucial toward improving overall performance and quality of services in healthcare organizations. Much can be done in the sampled organizations and in the context of KSA in general to improve areas of weakness and further enhance areas of strength.
PMCID: PMC3975247  PMID: 24621339
8.  The relationship between patients’ perceptions of care quality and three factors: nursing staff job satisfaction, organizational characteristics and patient age 
The relationship between nurses’ job satisfaction and their perceptions of quality of care has been examined in previous studies. There is little evidence, however, about relationships between the job satisfaction of nursing staff and quality of care perceived by the patients. The aim of this study was to analyze, how the job satisfaction of nursing staff, organizational characteristics (hospital and unit type), and patients’ age relate to patients’ perceptions of the quality of care.
The study was cross-sectional and descriptive, based on a secondary analysis of survey data acquired during the At Safe study in Finland. The study included 98 units at four acute care hospitals between autumn 2008 and spring 2009. The participants were 1909 patients and 929 nursing staff. Patients’ perceptions of quality of care were measured using the 42-item RHCS questionnaire. Job satisfaction of nursing staff was measured with the 37-item KUHJSS scale. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics, principal component analysis, t-tests, analysis of variance, linear regression, and multivariate analysis of variance.
Patients’ perceptions of overall quality of care were positively related to general job satisfaction of nursing staff. Adequate numbers of staff appeared to be the clearest aspect affecting quality of care. Older patients were more satisfied with staff number than younger patients. Patients cared for in outpatient departments felt more respected than patients in wards, whereas patients in wards reported better care of basic needs (e.g., hygiene, food) than outpatients.
The evaluation of resources by nursing staff is related to patients’ perceptions of the adequacy of nursing staff levels in the unit. The results emphasize the importance of considering patients’ perceptions of the quality of care and assessments by nurses of their job satisfaction at the hospital unit level when evaluating quality of care.
PMCID: PMC4283083  PMID: 25326852
Quality of care; Patients; Job satisfaction; Nursing staff; Hospital unit; Survey
9.  Evaluation of the culture of safety: survey of clinicians and managers in an academic medical center 
Quality & safety in health care  2003;12(6):405-410.
Background: Despite the emphasis on patient safety in health care, few organizations have evaluated the extent to which safety is a strategic priority or their culture supports patient safety. In response to the Institute of Medicine's report and to an organizational commitment to patient safety, we conducted a systematic assessment of safety at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) and, from this, developed a strategic plan to improve safety. The specific aims of this study were to evaluate the extent to which the culture supports patient safety at JHH and the extent to which safety is a strategic priority.
Methods: During July and August 2001 we implemented two surveys in disparate populations to assess patient safety. The Safety Climate Scale (SCS) was administered to a sample of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other ICU staff. SCS assesses perceptions of a strong and proactive organizational commitment to patient safety. The second survey instrument, called Strategies for Leadership (SLS), evaluated the extent to which safety was a strategic priority for the organization. This survey was administered to clinical and administrative leaders.
Results: We received 395 completed SCS surveys from 82% of the departments and 86% of the nursing units. Staff perceived that supervisors had a greater commitment to safety than senior leaders. Nurses had higher scores than physicians for perceptions of safety. Twenty three completed SLS surveys were received from 77% of the JHH Patient Safety Committee members and 50% of the JHH Management Committee members. Management Committee responses were more positive than Patient Safety Committee, indicating that management perceived safety efforts to be further developed. Strategic planning received the lowest scores from both committees.
Conclusions: We believe this is one of the first large scale efforts to measure institutional culture of safety and then design improvements in health care. The survey results suggest that strategic planning of patient safety needs enhancement. Several efforts to improve our culture of safety were initiated based on these results, which should lead to measurable improvements in patient safety.
PMCID: PMC1758025  PMID: 14645754
10.  Associations between Stroke Mortality and Weekend Working by Stroke Specialist Physicians and Registered Nurses: Prospective Multicentre Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(8):e1001705.
In a multicenter observational study, Benjamin Bray and colleagues evaluate whether weekend rounds by stroke specialist physicians, or the ratio of registered nurses to beds on weekends, is associated with patient mortality after stroke.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Observational studies have reported higher mortality for patients admitted on weekends. It is not known whether this “weekend effect” is modified by clinical staffing levels on weekends. We aimed to test the hypotheses that rounds by stroke specialist physicians 7 d per week and the ratio of registered nurses to beds on weekends are associated with mortality after stroke.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a prospective cohort study of 103 stroke units (SUs) in England. Data of 56,666 patients with stroke admitted between 1 June 2011 and 1 December 2012 were extracted from a national register of stroke care in England. SU characteristics and staffing levels were derived from cross-sectional survey. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of 30-d post-admission mortality, adjusting for case mix, organisational, staffing, and care quality variables. After adjusting for confounders, there was no significant difference in mortality risk for patients admitted to a stroke service with stroke specialist physician rounds fewer than 7 d per week (adjusted HR [aHR] 1.04, 95% CI 0.91–1.18) compared to patients admitted to a service with rounds 7 d per week. There was a dose–response relationship between weekend nurse/bed ratios and mortality risk, with the highest risk of death observed in stroke services with the lowest nurse/bed ratios. In multivariable analysis, patients admitted on a weekend to a SU with 1.5 nurses/ten beds had an estimated adjusted 30-d mortality risk of 15.2% (aHR 1.18, 95% CI 1.07–1.29) compared to 11.2% for patients admitted to a unit with 3.0 nurses/ten beds (aHR 0.85, 95% CI 0.77–0.93), equivalent to one excess death per 25 admissions. The main limitation is the risk of confounding from unmeasured characteristics of stroke services.
Mortality outcomes after stroke are associated with the intensity of weekend staffing by registered nurses but not 7-d/wk ward rounds by stroke specialist physicians. The findings have implications for quality improvement and resource allocation in stroke care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
In a perfect world, a patient admitted to hospital on a weekend or during the night should have as good an outcome as a patient admitted during regular working hours. But several observational studies (investigations that record patient outcomes without intervening in any way; clinical trials, by contrast, test potential healthcare interventions by comparing the outcomes of patients who are deliberately given different treatments) have reported that admission on weekends is associated with a higher mortality (death) rate than admission on weekdays. This “weekend effect” has led to calls for increased medical and nursing staff to be available in hospitals during the weekend and overnight to ensure that the healthcare provided at these times is of equal quality to that provided during regular working hours. In the UK, for example, “seven-day working” has been identified as a policy and service improvement priority for the National Health Service.
Why Was This Study Done?
Few studies have actually tested the relationship between patient outcomes and weekend physician or nurse staffing levels. It could be that patients who are admitted to hospital on the weekend have poor outcomes because they are generally more ill than those admitted on weekdays. Before any health system introduces potentially expensive increases in weekend staffing levels, better evidence that this intervention will improve patient outcomes is needed. In this prospective cohort study (a study that compares the outcomes of groups of people with different baseline characteristics), the researchers ask whether mortality after stroke is associated with weekend working by stroke specialist physicians and registered nurses. Stroke occurs when the brain's blood supply is interrupted by a blood vessel in the brain bursting (hemorrhagic stroke) or being blocked by a blood clot (ischemic stroke). Swift treatment can limit the damage to the brain caused by stroke, but of the 15 million people who have a stroke every year, about 6 million die within a few hours and another 5 million are left disabled.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers extracted clinical data on 56,666 patients who were admitted to stroke units in England over an 18-month period from a national stroke register. They obtained information on the characteristics and staffing levels of the stroke units from a biennial survey of hospitals admitting patients with stroke, and information on deaths among patients with stroke from the national register of deaths. A quarter of the patients were admitted on a weekend, almost half the stroke units provided stroke specialist physician rounds seven days per week, and the remainder provided rounds five days per week. After adjustment for factors that might have affected outcomes (“confounders”) such as stroke severity and the level of acute stroke care available in each stroke unit, there was no significant difference in mortality risk between patients admitted to a stroke unit with rounds seven days/week and patients admitted to a unit with rounds fewer than seven days/week. However, patients admitted on a weekend to a stroke unit with 1.5 nurses/ten beds had a 30-day mortality risk of 15.2%, whereas patients admitted to a unit with 3.0 nurses/ten beds had a mortality risk of 11.2%, a mortality risk difference equivalent to one excess death per 25 admissions.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the provision of stroke specialist physician rounds seven days/week in stroke units in England did not influence the (weak) association between weekend admission for stroke and death recorded in this study, but mortality outcomes after stroke were associated with the intensity of weekend staffing by registered nurses. The accuracy of these findings may be affected by the measure used to judge the level of acute care available in each stroke unit and by residual confounding. For example, patients admitted to units with lower nursing levels may have shared other unknown characteristics that increased their risk of dying after stroke. Moreover, this study considered the impact of staffing levels on mortality only and did not consider other relevant outcomes such as long-term disability. Despite these limitations, these findings support the provision of higher weekend ratios of registered nurses to beds in stroke units, but given the high costs of increasing weekend staffing levels, it is important that controlled trials of different models of physician and nursing staffing are undertaken as soon as possible.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Meeta Kerlin
Information about plans to introduce seven-day working into the National Health Service in England is available; the 2013 publication “NHS Services—Open Seven Days a Week: Every Day Counts” provides examples of how hospitals across England are working together to provide routine healthcare services seven days a week; a “Behind the Headlines” article on the UK National Health Service Choices website describes a recent observational study that investigated the association between admission to hospital on the weekend and death, and newspaper coverage of the study's results; the Choices website also provides information about stroke for patients and their families, including personal stories
A US nurses' site includes information on the association of nurse staffing with patient safety
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides information about all aspects of stroke (in English and Spanish); its Know Stroke site provides educational materials about stroke prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, including personal stories (in English and Spanish); the US National Institute of Health SeniorHealth website has additional information about stroke
The Internet Stroke Center provides detailed information about stroke for patients, families, and health professionals (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC4138029  PMID: 25137386
11.  Patient safety culture assessment in the nursing home 
Quality & Safety in Health Care  2006;15(6):400-404.
To assess patient safety culture (PSC) in the nursing home setting, to determine whether nursing home professionals differ in their PSC ratings, and to compare PSC scores of nursing homes with those of hospitals.
The Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture was modified for use in nursing homes (PSC‐NH) and distributed to 151 professionals in four non‐profit nursing homes. Mean scores on each PSC‐NH dimension were compared across professions (doctors, pharmacists, advanced practitioners and nurses) and with published benchmark scores from 21 hospitals.
Response rates were 68.9% overall and 52–100% for different professions. Most respondents (76%) were women and had worked in nursing homes for an average of 9.8 years, and at their current facility for 5.4 years. Professions agreed on 11 of 12 dimensions of the survey and differed significantly (p<0.05) only in ratings for one PSC dimension (attitudes about staffing issues), where nurses and pharmacists believed that they had enough employees to handle the workload. Nursing homes scored significantly lower (ie, worse) than hospitals (p<0.05) in five PSC dimensions (non‐punitive response to error, teamwork within units, communication openness, feedback and communication about error, and organisational learning).
Professionals in nursing homes generally agree about safety characteristics of their facilities, and the PSC in nursing homes is significantly lower than that in hospitals. PSC assessment may be helpful in fostering comparisons across nursing home settings and professions, and identifying targets for interventions to improve patient safety.
PMCID: PMC2464903  PMID: 17142586
12.  Perspectives of staff nurses of the reasons for and the nature of patient-initiated call lights: an exploratory survey study in four USA hospitals 
Little research has been done on patient call light use and staff response time, which were found to be associated with inpatient falls and satisfaction. Nurses' perspectives may moderate or mediate the aforementioned relationships. This exploratory study intended to understand staff's perspectives about call lights, staff responsiveness, and the reasons for and the nature of call light use. It also explored differences among hospitals and identified significant predictors of the nature of call light use.
This cross-sectional, multihospital survey study was conducted from September 2008 to January 2009 in four hospitals located in the Midwestern region of the United States. A brief survey was used. All 2309 licensed and unlicensed nursing staff members who provide direct patient care in 27 adult care units were invited to participate. A total of 808 completed surveys were retrieved for an overall response rate of 35%. The SPSS 16.0 Window version was used. Descriptive and binary logistic regression analyses were conducted.
The primary reasons for patient-initiated calls were for toileting assistance, pain medication, and intravenous problems. Toileting assistance was the leading reason. Each staff responded to 6 to 7 calls per hour and a call was answered within 4 minutes (estimated). 49% of staff perceived that patient-initiated calls mattered to patient safety. 77% agreed that that these calls were meaningful. 52% thought that these calls required the attention of nursing staff. 53% thought that answering calls prevented them from doing the critical aspects of their role. Staff's perceptions about the nature of calls varied across hospitals. Junior staff tended to overlook the importance of answering calls. A nurse participant tended to perceive calls as more likely requiring nursing staff's attention than a nurse aide participant.
If answering calls was a high priority among nursing tasks, staff would perceive calls as being important, requiring nursing staff's attention, and being meaningful. Therefore, answering calls should not be perceived as preventing staff from doing the critical aspects of their role. Additional efforts are necessary to reach the ideal or even a reasonable level of patient safety-first practice in current hospital environments.
PMCID: PMC2841165  PMID: 20184775
13.  Practice environments and their associations with nurse-reported outcomes in Belgian hospitals: Development and preliminary validation of a Dutch adaptation of the Revised Nursing Work Index 
To study the relationship between nurse work environment, job outcomes and nurse-assessed quality of care in the Belgian context.
Work environment characteristics are important for attracting and retaining professional nurses in hospitals. The Revised Nursing Work Index (NWI-R) was originally designed to describe the professional nurse work environment in U.S. Magnet Hospitals and subsequently has been extensively used in research internationally.
The NWI-R was translated into Dutch to measure the nurse work environment in 155 nurses across 13 units in three Belgian hospitals. Factor analysis was used to identify a set of coherent subscales. The relationship between work environments and job outcomes and nurse-assessed quality of care was investigated using logistic and linear regression analyses. Results: Three reliable, consistent and meaningful subscales of the NWI-R were identified: nurse–physician relations, nurse management at the unit level and hospital management and organizational support. All three subscales had significant associations with several outcome variables. Nurse–physician relations had a significant positive association with nurse job satisfaction, intention to stay the hospital, the nurse-assessed unit level quality of care and personal accomplishment. Nurse management at the unit level had a significant positive association with the nurse job satisfaction, nurse-assessed quality of care on the unit and in the hospital, and personal accomplishment. Hospital management and organizational support had a significant positive association with the nurse-assessed quality of care in the hospital and personal accomplishment. Higher ratings of nurse–physician relations and nurse management at the unit level had significant negative associations with both the Maslach Burnout Inventory emotional exhaustion and depersonalization dimensions, whereas hospital management and organizational support was inversely associated only with depersonalization scores.
A Dutch version of the NWI-R questionnaire produced comparable subscales to those found by many other researchers internationally. The resulting measures of the professional practice environment in Belgian hospitals showed expected relationships with nurse self-reports of job outcomes and perceptions of hospital quality.
PMCID: PMC2845973  PMID: 18789437
Burnout; Job satisfaction; Nurse retention; Nurse management; Nurse work environment; Quality of care
14.  Exploring the role of organizational policies and procedures in promoting research utilization in registered nurses 
Policies and procedures (P&Ps) have been suggested as one possible strategy for moving research evidence into practice among nursing staff in hospitals. Research in the area of P&Ps is limited, however. This paper explores: 1) nurses' use of eight specific research-based practices (RBPs) and RBP overall, 2) nurses' use and understanding of P&Ps, and 3) the role of P&Ps in promoting research utilization.
Staff nurses from the eight health regions governing acute care services across the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador completed an anonymous questionnaire regarding their use of eight RBPs and associated P&Ps. Data were also obtained from authorities in six of the eight regions about existing relevant P&Ps. We used descriptive statistics and multivariate regression analysis to assess the relationship between key independent variables and self-reported use of RBP.
Use of the eight RBPs ranged from 7.8% to 88.6%, depending on the practice. Nurses ranked P&P manuals as their number one source of practice knowledge. Most respondents (84.8%) reported that the main reason they consult the P&P manual is to confirm they are practicing according to agency rules. Multivariate regression analysis identified three significant predictors of being a user versus non-user of RBP overall: awareness, awareness by regular use, and persuasion. Six significant predictors of being a consistent versus less consistent user of RBP overall were also identified: perception of P&P existence, unit, nursing experience, personal experience as a source of practice knowledge, number of existing research-based P&Ps, and lack of time as a barrier to consulting P&P manuals.
Findings suggest that nurses use P&Ps to guide their practice. However, the mere existence of P&Ps is not sufficient to translate research into nursing practice. Individual and organizational factors related to nurses' understanding and use of P&Ps also play key roles. Thus, moving research evidence into practice will require careful interplay between the organization and the individual. P&Ps may be the interface through which this occurs.
PMCID: PMC1904235  PMID: 17550597
15.  Perinatal staff perceptions of safety and quality in their service 
Ensuring safe and appropriate service delivery is central to a high quality maternity service. With this in mind, over recent years much attention has been given to the development of evidence-based clinical guidelines, staff education and risk reporting systems. Less attention has been given to assessing staff perceptions of a service’s safety and quality and what factors may influence that. In this study we set out to assess staff perceptions of safety and quality of a maternity service and to explore potential influences on service safety.
The study was undertaken within a new low risk metropolitan maternity service in Victoria, Australia with a staffing profile comprising midwives (including students), neonatal nurses, specialist obstetricians, junior medical staff and clerical staff. In depth open-ended interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire were conducted with 23 staff involved in the delivery of perinatal care, including doctors, midwives, nurses, nursing and midwifery students, and clerical staff. Data were analyzed using naturalistic interpretive inquiry to identify emergent themes.
Staff unanimously reported that there were robust systems and processes in place to maintain safety and quality. Three major themes were apparent: (1) clinical governance, (2) dominance of midwives, (3) inter-professional relationships. Overall, there was a strong sense that, at least in this midwifery-led service, midwives had the greatest opportunity to be an influence, both positively and negatively, on the safe delivery of perinatal care. The importance of understanding team dynamics, particularly mutual respect, trust and staff cohesion, were identified as key issues for potential future service improvement.
Senior staff, particularly midwives and neonatal nurses, play central roles in shaping team behaviors and attitudes that may affect the safety and quality of service delivery. We suggest that strategies targeting senior staff to enhance their performance in their roles, particularly in the training and teamwork role-modeling of the transitory junior workforce, are important for the development and maintenance of a high quality and safe maternity service.
PMCID: PMC4258038  PMID: 25430702
Maternity care; Clinical governance; Midwifery dominance; Safety; Qualitative research
16.  Measuring patient safety culture in Taiwan using the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (HSOPSC) 
Patient safety is a critical component to the quality of health care. As health care organizations endeavour to improve their quality of care, there is a growing recognition of the importance of establishing a culture of patient safety. In this research, the authors use the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (HSOPSC) questionnaire to assess the culture of patient safety in Taiwan and attempt to provide an explanation for some of the phenomena that are unique in Taiwan.
The authors used HSOPSC to measure the 12 dimensions of the patient safety culture from 42 hospitals in Taiwan. The survey received 788 respondents including physicians, nurses, and non-clinical staff. This study used SPSS 15.0 for Windows and Amos 7 software tools to perform the statistical analysis on the survey data, including descriptive statistics and confirmatory factor analysis of the structural equation model.
The overall average positive response rate for the 12 patient safety culture dimensions of the HSOPSC survey was 64%, slightly higher than the average positive response rate for the AHRQ data (61%). The results showed that hospital staff in Taiwan feel positively toward patient safety culture in their organization. The dimension that received the highest positive response rate was "Teamwork within units", similar to the results reported in the US. The dimension with the lowest percentage of positive responses was "Staffing". Statistical analysis showed discrepancies between Taiwan and the US in three dimensions, including "Feedback and communication about error", "Communication openness", and "Frequency of event reporting".
The HSOPSC measurement provides evidence for assessing patient safety culture in Taiwan. The results show that in general, hospital staffs in Taiwan feel positively toward patient safety culture within their organization. The existence of discrepancies between the US data and the Taiwanese data suggest that cultural uniqueness should be taken into consideration whenever safety culture measurement tools are applied in different cultural settings.
PMCID: PMC2903582  PMID: 20529246
17.  Trade-offs between voice and silence: a qualitative exploration of oncology staff’s decisions to speak up about safety concerns 
Research suggests that “silence”, i.e., not voicing safety concerns, is common among health care professionals (HCPs). Speaking up about patient safety is vital to avoid errors reaching the patient and thus to prevent harm and also to improve a culture of teamwork and safety. The aim of our study was to explore factors that affect oncology staff’s decision to voice safety concerns or to remain silent and to describe the trade-offs they make.
In a qualitative interview study with 32 doctors and nurses from 7 oncology units we investigated motivations and barriers to speaking up towards co-workers and supervisors. An inductive thematic content analysis framework was applied to the transcripts. Based on the individual experiences of participants, we conceptualize the choice to voice concerns and the trade-offs involved.
Preventing patients from serious harm constitutes a strong motivation to speaking up but competes with anticipated negative outcomes. Decisions whether and how to voice concerns involved complex considerations and trade-offs. Many respondents reflected on whether the level of risk for a patient “justifies” the costs of speaking up. Various barriers for voicing concerns were reported, e.g., damaging relationships. Contextual factors, such as the presence of patients and co-workers in the alarming situation, affect the likelihood of anticipated negative outcomes. Speaking up to well-known co-workers was described as considerably easier whereas “not knowing the actor well” increases risks and potential costs of speaking up.
While doctors and nurses felt strong obligation to prevent errors reaching individual patients, they were not engaged in voicing concerns beyond this immediacy. Our results offer in-depth insight into fears and conditions conducive of silence and voicing and can be used for educational interventions and leader reinforcement.
PMCID: PMC4105519  PMID: 25017121
Communication; Safety culture; Qualitative research; Patient safety; Oncology
18.  Nursing churn and turnover in Australian hospitals: nurses perceptions and suggestions for supportive strategies 
BMC Nursing  2014;13:11.
This study aimed to reveal nurses’ experiences and perceptions of turnover in Australian hospitals and identify strategies to improve retention, performance and job satisfaction. Nursing turnover is a serious issue that can compromise patient safety, increase health care costs and impact on staff morale. A qualitative design was used to analyze responses from 362 nurses collected from a national survey of nurses from medical and surgical nursing units across 3 Australian States/Territories.
A qualitative design was used to analyze responses from 362 nurses collected from a national survey of nurses from medical and surgical nursing units across 3 Australian States/Territories.
Key factors affecting nursing turnover were limited career opportunities; poor support; a lack of recognition; and negative staff attitudes. The nursing working environment is characterised by inappropriate skill-mix and inadequate patient-staff ratios; a lack of overseas qualified nurses with appropriate skills; low involvement in decision-making processes; and increased patient demands. These issues impacted upon heavy workloads and stress levels with nurses feeling undervalued and disempowered. Nurses described supportive strategies: improving performance appraisals, responsive preceptorship and flexible employment options.
Nursing turnover is influenced by the experiences of nurses. Positive steps can be made towards improving workplace conditions and ensuring nurse retention. Improving performance management and work design are strategies that nurse managers could harness to reduce turnover.
PMCID: PMC3985533  PMID: 24708565
Nursing staff; Hospital personnel; Turnover; Personnel management
19.  Perceptions of Hospital Safety Climate and Incidence of Readmission 
Health Services Research  2011;46(2):596-616.
To define the relationship between hospital patient safety climate (a measure of hospitals' organizational culture as related to patient safety) and hospitals' rates of rehospitalization within 30 days of discharge.
Data Sources
A safety climate survey administered to a random sample of hospital employees (n=36,375) in 2006–2007 and risk-standardized hospital readmission rates from 2008.
Study Design
Cross-sectional study of 67 hospitals.
Data Collection
Robust multiple regressions used 30-day risk-standardized readmission rates as dependent variables in separate disease-specific models (acute myocardial infarction [AMI], heart failure [HF], pneumonia), and measures of safety climate as independent variables. We estimated separate models for all hospital staff as well as physicians, nurses, hospital senior managers, and frontline staff.
Principal Findings
There was a significant positive association between lower safety climate and higher readmission rates for AMI and HF (p≤.05 for both models). Frontline staff perceptions of safety climate were associated with readmission rates (p≤.01), but senior management perceptions were not. Physician and nurse perceptions related to AMI and HF readmissions, respectively.
Our findings indicate that hospital patient safety climate is associated with readmission outcomes for AMI and HF and those associations were management level and discipline specific.
PMCID: PMC3064921  PMID: 21105868
Safety culture; safety climate; hospital readmission
20.  An Educational Intervention to Enhance Nurse Leaders' Perceptions of Patient Safety Culture 
Health Services Research  2005;40(4):997-1020.
To design a training intervention and then test its effect on nurse leaders' perceptions of patient safety culture.
Study Setting
Three hundred and fifty-six nurses in clinical leadership roles (nurse managers and educators/CNSs) in two Canadian multi-site teaching hospitals (study and control).
Study Design
A prospective evaluation of a patient safety training intervention using a quasi-experimental untreated control group design with pretest and posttest. Nurses in clinical leadership roles in the study group were invited to participate in two patient safety workshops over a 6-month period. Individuals in the study and control groups completed surveys measuring patient safety culture and leadership for improvement prior to training and 4 months following the second workshop.
Extraction Methods
Individual nurse clinical leaders were the unit of analysis. Exploratory factor analysis of the safety culture items was conducted; repeated-measures analysis of variance and paired t-tests were used to evaluate the effect of the training intervention on perceived safety culture (three factors). Hierarchical regression analyses looked at the influence of demographics, leadership for improvement, and the training intervention on nurse leaders' perceptions of safety culture.
Principal Findings
A statistically significant improvement in one of three safety culture measures was shown for the study group (p<.001) and a significant decline was seen on one of the safety culture measures for the control group (p<.05). Leadership support for improvement was found to explain significant amounts of variance in all three patient safety culture measures; workshop attendance explained significant amounts of variance in one of the three safety culture measures. The total R2 for the three full hierarchical regression models ranged from 0.338 and 0.554.
Sensitively delivered training initiatives for nurse leaders can help to foster a safety culture. Organizational leadership support for improvement is, however, also critical for fostering a culture of safety. Together, training interventions and leadership support may have the most significant impact on patient safety culture.
PMCID: PMC1361187  PMID: 16033489
Patient safety; safety culture; leadership; training intervention
21.  Nurses' perceptions and experiences of communication in the operating theatre: a focus group interview 
BMC Nursing  2006;5:1.
Nurses' perceptions and experiences of communication in the operating theatre: a focus group interview
Communication programmes are well established in nurse education. The focus of programmes is most often on communicating with patients with less attention paid to inter-professional communication or skills essential for working in specialised settings. Although there are many anecdotal reports of communication within the operating theatre, there are few empirical studies. This paper explores communication behaviours for effective practice in the operating theatre as perceived by nurses and serves as a basis for developing training.
A focus group interview was conducted with seven experienced theatre nurses from a large London teaching hospital. The interview explored their perceptions of the key as well as unique features of effective communication skills in the operating theatre. Data was transcribed and thematically analysed until agreement was achieved by the two authors.
There was largely consensus on the skills deemed necessary for effective practice including listening, clarity of speech and being polite. Significant influences on the nature of communication included conflict in role perception and organisational issues. Nurses were often expected to work outside of their role which either directly or indirectly created barriers for effective communication. Perceptions of a lack of collaborative team effort also influenced communication.
Although fundamental communication skills were identified for effective practice in the operating theatre, there were significant barriers to their use because of confusion over clarity of roles (especially nurses' roles) and the implications for teamwork. Nurses were dissatisfied with several aspects of communication. Future studies should explore the breadth and depth of this dissatisfaction in other operating theatres, its impact on morale and importantly on patient safety. Interprofessional communication training for operating theatre staff based in part on the key issues identified in this study may help to create clarity in roles and focus attention on effective teamwork and promote clinical safety.
PMCID: PMC1397831  PMID: 16466581
22.  Enculturation of Unsafe Attitudes and Behaviors: Student Perceptions of Safety Culture 
Safety culture may exert an important influence on the adoption and learning of patient safety practices by learners at clinical training sites. This study assessed students’ perceptions of safety culture and identified curricular gaps in patient safety training.
A total of 170 fourth-year medical students at the University of California, San Francisco, were asked to complete a modified version of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture in 2011. Students responded on the basis of either their third-year internal medicine or surgery clerkship experience. Responses were recorded on a five-point Likert scale. Percent positive responses were compared between the groups using a chi-square test.
One hundred twenty-one students (71% response rate) rated “teamwork within units” and “organizational learning” highest among the survey domains; “communication openness” and “nonpunitive response to error” were rated lowest. A majority of students reported that they would not speak up when witnessing a possible adverse event (56%) and were afraid to ask questions if things did not seem right (55%). In addition, 48% of students reported feeling that mistakes were held against them. Overall, students reported a desire for additional patient safety training to enhance their educational experience.
Assessing student perceptions of safety culture highlighted important observations from their clinical experiences and helped identify areas for curricular development to enhance patient safety. This assessment may also be a useful tool for both clerkship directors and clinical service chiefs in their respective efforts to promote safe care.
PMCID: PMC4024094  PMID: 23619067
23.  Relationship Between Nurses and Physicians in Terms of Organizational Culture: Who Is Responsible for Subordination of Nurses? 
Croatian medical journal  2008;49(3):334-343.
To investigate how nurses and physicians perceive organizational culture, their integration into the organizational processes, and relations within a health care team.
We performed a cross-sectional study that included 106 physicians and 558 nurses from 14 Slovenian hospitals in December 2005. The hospitals were randomly selected. We distributed the questionnaires on the same day to physicians and nurses during a morning shift. The total number of distributed questionnaires represented a 20% of each personnel category at each hospital. The following variables were studied: organizational culture, integration of nurses and physicians in hospital processes, and subordination of nurses to physicians.
Physicians and nurses favored a culture of internal focus, stability, and control. Both groups estimated that they had a low level of personal involvement in their organizations and indicated insufficient involvement in work teams, while nurses also thought that they were subordinated to physicians (mean ± standard deviation, 3.6 ± 0.9 on a scale from 1 to 5) more than physicians thought so (2.7 ± 1.0; P<0.001). Control orientation correlated positively with the subordination of nurses (P<0.005) and negatively with personal integration in an organization (P<0.005).
We found out that subordination of nurses can be explained by market culture, level of personal involvement, and the level of education. Our research showed that the professional growth of nurses was mainly threatened by organizational factors such as hierarchy, control orientation, a lack of cooperation and team building between physicians and nurses, as well as insufficient inclusion of both physicians and nurses into change implementation activities.
PMCID: PMC2443617  PMID: 18581611
24.  The level of teamwork as an index of quality in ICU performance 
Hippokratia  2010;14(2):94-97.
Background: The benefits of improved interdisciplinary collaboration in the health care section are well documented in the literature, including fewer errors and shorter delays and thus enhanced effectiveness and maximised patient safety. Given that the first step in improving teamwork involves uncovering individual team member's attitudes, this study was planned to investigate the level of collaboration, as part of organizational culture in the environment of ICU in Hippokratio Hospital.
Methods: Considering as team all the medical and nursing stuff necessary for the integraded care of the ICU-patient, all the ICU personnel was included in the study, as well as that of other cooperating clinical departments and labs of Hippokratio hospital. For the purpose of the study a questionnaire was adopted and was given to 250 individuals, 196 of which responded (response rate 78.4%).
Results: Responders, in general, valued teamwork as crucial for the performance of ICU. However, the study revealed a relative low consensus regarding the level of teamwork within each unit and inadequate collaboration between certain departments and ICU. Interestingly enough, most of the responders were willing to share responsibility but unwilling to share decision making or accept questioning of their actions. Finally, low consensus was also observed regarding the composition of the team, some responders (mostly clinicians) undervaluing the contribution of labs. Certain differences were detected across departments, as well as between physicians and nurses, the statistical significance of which is indicated.
Conclusion: Although the benefits of teamwork are well understood, realization of effective cooperation seems to be yet too far from our interdisciplinary practice. Teaching of teamwork skills and team concepts should become part of our medical or nursing education and training, if we should want to achieve a substantial improvement of quality of healthcare services, especially in high risk areas such as the ICUs.
PMCID: PMC2895292  PMID: 20596263
interdisciplinary collaboration; ICU-teamwork; inter-professional interactions; teamwork measuring
25.  The relationship between characteristics of context and research utilization in a pediatric setting 
Research utilization investigators have called for more focused examination of the influence of context on research utilization behaviors. Yet, up until recently, lack of instrumentation to identify and quantify aspects of organizational context that are integral to research use has significantly hampered these efforts. The Alberta Context Tool (ACT) was developed to assess the relationships between organizational factors and research utilization by a variety of healthcare professional groups. The purpose of this paper is to present findings from a pilot study using the ACT to elicit pediatric and neonatal healthcare professionals' perceptions of the organizational context in which they work and their use of research to inform practice. Specifically, we report on the relationship between dimensions of context, founded on the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework, and self-reported research use behavior.
A cross-sectional survey approach was employed using a version of the ACT, modified specifically for pediatric settings. The survey was administered to nurses working in three pediatric units in Alberta, Canada. Scores for three dimensions of context (culture, leadership and evaluation) were used to categorize respondent data into one of four context groups (high, moderately high, moderately low and low). We then examined the relationships between nurses' self-reported research use and their perceived context.
A 69% response rate was achieved. Statistically significant differences in nurses' perceptions of culture, leadership and evaluation, and self-reported conceptual research use were found across the three units. Differences in instrumental research use across the three groups of nurses by unit were not significant. Higher self-reported instrumental and conceptual research use by all nurses in the sample was associated with more positive perceptions of their context.
Overall, the results of this study lend support to the view that more positive contexts are associated with higher reports of research use in practice. These findings have implications for organizational endeavors to promote evidence-informed practice and maximize the quality of care. Importantly, these findings can be used to guide the development of interventions to target modifiable characteristics of organizational context that are influential in shaping research use behavior.
PMCID: PMC2908612  PMID: 20565714

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