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A culture of patient safety in nursing homes


Background: Few accounts of patient safety initiatives in nursing homes exist.

Objective: To (1) determine safety culture scores for nursing homes and (2) compare these results with existing data from hospitals.

Methods: Data were collected from a nationally representative sample of nursing homes (n = 2840 completed surveys and a response rate of 71%). From these nursing homes, administrators completed The Hospital Survey On Patient Safety Culture (HSOPSC) instrument.

Results: 11 of the 12 HSOPSC subscale scores from the nursing home sample were considerably lower than the benchmark hospital scores. In addition, almost all item scores from nursing homes were considerably lower than the benchmark hospital scores. These results indicate that a less well-developed safety culture exists in nursing homes.

Conclusions: The results clearly show that the patient safety culture scores of nursing homes are considerably lower than those of hospitals. Residents of nursing homes may be at risk of harm as a result of patient safety errors.

  • HSOPSC, Hospital Survey On Patient Safety Culture
  • JCAHO, Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
  • OSCAR, On-line Survey Certification And Recording

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