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Keeping Health Care Workers Safe Keeps Patients Safe Too

June 6, 2024

When hospital providers and staff believe that their workplace culture keeps them safe from hazards and harm, they are more likely to believe that it also fosters patient safety, according to recent research authored by Westat staff and published in BMC Health Services Research.

Associations Between Patient Safety Culture and Workplace Safety Culture in Hospital Settings involved 6,685 survey respondents from 28 hospitals and yielded several key findings:

  • Greater management support for provider and staff workplace safety led to more positive perceptions of the patient safety culture.
  • Providers and staff who felt protected from workplace hazards and were comfortable reporting safety concerns without fear of negative consequences had more favorable perceptions of the culture of patient safety.
  • Perceptions of hospital patient safety culture were less favorable when staff experienced greater work stress or burnout.

Lead author Westat’s Brandon Hesgrove, PhD, noted that, “Ensuring the safety and well-being of hospital providers and staff is essential to ensuring the safety and quality of care that patients receive, and management support sets the foundation for both.” Other Westat authors include Katarzyna Zebrak, PhD; Naomi Yount, PhD; and Joann Sorra, PhD.


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