doctor at office.300A healthcare organization’s ability to successfully identify and address patient safety issues depends on how motivated caregivers are to report medical errors, and according to a new study, managers’ perceived attitudes regarding patient safety culture can heavily influence the reporting practices of frontline staff.

Researchers used the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality’s Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture comparative database to test nine organizational factors that could potentially effect error reporting frequency. More than 500,000 respondents from over 1,000 hospitals participated in the AHRQ survey which identified error feedback and organizational learning as the most significant predictors of reporting behavior.

In addition to learning what factors tend to influence staff decisions to report errors and near misses, researchers also worked to determine whether or not the effects were the same among managers and clinical staff. In doing so, they determined that management support for patient safety culture can significantly impact error reporting among clinical staff. This finding is important because managers need to understand that their failure to demonstrate support for safety is directly related to the decisions that frontline staff make regarding whether or not to report incidents.

To learn more and read the study abstract, click here.