Safety climate in Swiss hospital units: Swiss version of the Safety Climate Survey

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Rationale, aims and objectivesSafety climate measurements are a broadly used element of improvement initiatives. In order to provide a sound and easy-to-administer instrument for the use in Swiss hospitals, we translated the Safety Climate Survey into German and French.MethodsAfter translating the Safety Climate Survey into French and German, a cross-sectional survey study was conducted with health care professionals (HCPs) in operating room (OR) teams and on OR-related wards in 10 Swiss hospitals. Validity of the instrument was examined by means of Cronbach's alpha and missing rates of the single items. Item-descriptive statistics group differences and percentage of ‘problematic responses’ (PPR) were calculated.Results3153 HCPs completed the survey (response rate: 63.4%). 1308 individuals were excluded from the analyses because of a profession other than doctor or nurse or invalid answers (n = 1845; nurses = 1321, doctors = 523). Internal consistency of the translated Safety Climate Survey was good (Cronbach's alpha German = 0.86; Cronbach's alpha French = 0.84). Missing rates at item level were rather low (0.23–4.3%). We found significant group differences in safety climate values regarding profession, managerial function, work area and time spent in direct patient care. At item level, 14 out of 21 items showed a PPR higher than 10%.ConclusionsResults indicate that the French and German translations of the Safety Climate Survey might be a useful measurement instrument for safety climate in Swiss hospital units. Analyses at item level allow for differentiating facets of safety climate into more positive and critical safety climate aspects.

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