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Keywords:

  • beliefs;
  • concept analysis;
  • culture;
  • dimensional analysis;
  • nursing;
  • patient safety;
  • values

Abstract

Title. Patient safety culture in nursing: a dimensional concept analysis.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a dimensional concept analysis of patient safety culture in nursing.

Background.  Patient safety is an important issue in healthcare organizations. As the release of Institute of Medicine reports in the United States of America, substantial interest has arisen in studying patient safety culture; however, the concept remains poorly defined.

Data sources.  Multiple databases, including CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and Anthropological Index Online, were searched from 1970 to 2006. A keyword search method was employed followed by a combined key word search.

Review methods.  A concept analysis based on Caron and Bowers’ method was carried out using 45 papers, three books and three theses after examination of the abstracts to identify definitions, dimensions, perspectives and consequences needed for content and dimensional analyses.

Findings.  Nurses’ shared values, beliefs and behavioural norms towards patient safety were identified as the overarching dimensions of the patient safety culture. The four sub-dimensions of patient safety culture were synthesized as system, personal, task-associated and interaction. Two main philosophical perspectives, functional and interpretative, were added to the analysis and further clarification was provided.

Conclusion.  It is expected that understanding the nature, as well as the key elements of the concept, would assist with analysing the existing safety culture and help to determine the strategies to build or shape the safety culture.