Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Health professionals' perception of patient safety in acute hospitals

Julie Willmott , Jonathan Mould


Background: Globally the degree of patient harm occurring in healthcare was first publicised in the 1990s. Although many factors affect patient safety, in the United States, the Institute of Medicine identified the hospital organisational culture as one factor contributing to a reduction in adverse events. This led to the development of many tools for measuring the hospital staffs’ safety culture. Objective: To review the literature on patient safety culture in acute hospitals to identify: how patient safety is viewed by health professionals; if patient safety culture is perceived differently at the hospital level to the ward level; and if clinicians and managers place the same importance on patient safety. Data Source: Following a search of electronic databases and a manual search of other literature, an integrative review method identified 11 articles as being suitable to meet the review’s objectives. To ensure relevancy to current practice, the search was restricted from 2010 to 2015. Conclusion: Hospital patient safety culture is not a shared vision, with each health professional group having a differing view. Sixty-seven percent of the examined studies found doctors to have a poorer perception of the patient safety culture than nurses and allied health professionals. All health professional groups reported a more positive view of their ward safety culture than that of the hospital safety culture. Furthermore, managers of the health professionals reported more positively on patient safety culture than bedside clinicians. This review gave an international understanding of the health professionals’ view of patient safety. From an Australian context, the review highlights the need for further study due to the lack of recent Australian literature in the acute hospital setting relating to patient safety culture.

AH16274  Accepted 02 April 2017

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