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Press Ganey Releases Culture of Safety Report

Yesterday, coinciding with Patient Safety Week, Press Ganey released its 2009 Safety Culture Pulse Report: Staff Perspectives on American Health Care. This is an important report with data relevant to everyone working in health care. You can download the report for free by going to:

Why is this report important? Well, the topic of patient safety is important. Let's start there. Quoting from the report:

"Patient safety remains one of the biggest challenges for health care providers. Studies show that more than 2 million patients are injured unnecessarily in hospitals every year, with more than 100,000 people dying as a result. Medication errors in hospitals alone cost at least $3.5 billion annually to treat, the Institute of Medicine has found." (Source: Press Ganey, Safety Culture Pulse Report, 2009)

The report focuses on the growing trend for hospitals and medical centers to turn to changes in culture as a way to address patient safety. These hospitals are working to develop a "culture of safety."

"Such a culture involves an organization-wide commitment to safe care. That starts with a data-based assessment of the current safety culture, including surveys of front-line caregivers and administrators on perceptions of the commitment to safety. From that data, a coherent and cogent plan for improvement is adopted, including unit-specific action plans. Clearly set expectations and definitions of safe behavior help to cultivate shared values and beliefs that are consistent with the overall organizational approach to safety. What flows from these actions is, at its best, continuous quality improvement." (Source: Press Ganey, Safety Culture Pulse Report, 2009)

The study found that a lack of communication is "at the root of many of the issues surrounding patient safety." No surprise there. The report goes on to say that "organizations with a positive safety culture have leaders who effectively communicate patient safety priorities and efforts of the organization through consistent messages and priorities, as well as open communications across the organization." In working over the last year with Tufts Medical Center on their patient safety initiative, this is exactly what I experienced. First, Tufts set out to create a culture of patient safety. Second, they communicated effectively across the organization and made it clear that this was a priority for leadership. And they have not let up - the messaging continues more than a year after the initiative began. The communication is open and frequent!

Download a PDF of the report online by clicking here. And then share it with your colleagues! I've already emailed it to several of my co-workers and a most of my clients.

Post by Dan Dunlop, The Healthcare Marketing Community

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