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Patient Safety Assessment in Slovak Hospitals

Introduction: Patient safety is recognized as a major issue for health care organizations. Assessment of safety culture is a key step in improve it in an healthcare centers and patient safety culture is generally measured by surveys of providers worldwide. This type of survey was conducted also in the Slovak hospitals during 2010 and 2011 with the main aims to find out how healthcare workers perceive patient safety in their organization and how they assess safety culture in individual units.

Materials and Methods: A study included 3 hospitals from Trnava region and the total number of respondents included 1 787 hospital staff. The Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (HSOPSC) Questionnaire from AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) was used. The response rate was 75%. AHRQ methodic, Pearson’s Chi-squared test, pairwise proportion test (p≤ 0,05) and Cronbach’s alpha were used for statistical analysis.

Results: Patient safety in Trnava regional hospitals was evaluated as positive by 50% of healthcare workers. The highest scores were obtained in specific dimensions as overall perception of safety (74%) and handoffs and transition (70%). According to this survey, health care workers considered teamwork across hospital units (35%) and hospital management support for patient safety issues (39%) as being weak areas, from their perspective. Staff also admitted to being fearful of adverse event reporting. Physicians and nurses had significantly a different looking at an communication, adverse events reporting and staffing in surveyed hospitals.

Conclusions: The survey found out some strong and weak areas that could be helpful for hospital management teams to increase incentives for patient safety and for the maintenance of patient safety culture therefore to improve healthcare quality and safety in these hospitals.

Author(s): Veronika Mikuová, Viera Rusnáková, Katarína Naová, Jana Boroová, Melánie Beková

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