Safety Programs Boost Staff Perception of Safety Culture

Obstetrics safety program improves staff attitudes toward teamwork, safety, job satisfaction

THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Obstetrics patient safety programs can improve staff perceptions of safety and the safety culture, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Christian M. Pettker, M.D., from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues assessed the effect of a safety program for obstetrics patients on staff safety culture. Multiple patient safety interventions were introduced to the obstetrics service between 2002 and 2006. Obstetrics service staff members were given a Safety Attitude Questionnaire four times between 2004 and 2009 to assess teamwork culture, safety culture, stress recognition, working conditions, job satisfaction, and perceptions of management.

The investigators found that over time there was a significant increase in the proportion of staff members with positive perceptions of teamwork culture (39 percent in 2004 to 63 percent in 2009); safety culture (33 to 63 percent); and management (10 to 37 percent). The proportion of staff satisfied with their jobs was 39 percent in 2004 and 53 percent in 2009. Perception of teamwork and safety climates was noted by residents, obstetrics providers, and nurses, with high congruence between doctors and nurses.

"Our results add to the growing body of evidence that a healthy safety culture develops in tandem with safer patient care," the authors write.

The study was partially funded by MCIC Vermont Inc.

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