What is Patient Safety Culture? A Review of the Literature
Article first published online: 21 JAN 2010
© 2010 Sigma Theta Tau International
Journal of Nursing Scholarship
Volume 42, Issue 2, pages 156–165, June 2010
How to Cite
Sammer, C. E., Lykens, K., Singh, K. P., Mains, D. A. and Lackan, N. A. (2010), What is Patient Safety Culture? A Review of the Literature. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 42: 156–165. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2009.01330.x
- Issue published online: 1 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 21 JAN 2010
- Accepted: November 14, 2009
- Hospital safety culture framework;
- patient safety
Purpose: To organize the properties of safety culture addressed by many studies and to develop a conceptual culture of safety model.
Design and Methods: A comprehensive review of the culture of safety literature within the U.S. hospital setting. The review was a qualitative meta-analysis from which we generated a conceptual culture of safety framework and developed a typology of the safety culture literature.
Findings: Seven subcultures of patient safety culture were identified: (a) leadership, (b) teamwork, (c) evidence-based, (d) communication, (e) learning, (f) just, and (g) patient-centered.
Conclusions: Safety culture is a complex phenomenon that is not clearly understood by hospital leaders, thus making it difficult to operationalize. We found senior leadership accountability key to an organization-wide culture of safety.
Clinical Relevance: Hospital leaders are increasingly pressured by federal, state, regulatory, and consumer groups to demonstrate an organizational safety culture that assures patients are safe from medical error. This article defines a safety culture framework that may support hospital leadership answer the question “what is a patient safety culture?”