Examination of the relationship between management and clinician perception of patient safety climate and patient satisfaction

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Abstract

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between managers and clinicians' agreement on deeming the patient safety climate as high or low and the patients' satisfaction with those organizations.

Data Sources/Study Setting:

We used two secondary data sets: the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (2012) and the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (2012).

Methodology/Approach:

We used ordinary least squares regressions to analyze the relationship between the extent of agreement between managers and clinicians' perceptions of safety climate in relationship to patient satisfaction. The dependent variables were four Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems patient satisfaction scores: communication with nurses, communication with doctors, communication about medicines, and discharge information. The main independent variables were four groups that were formed based on the extent of managers and clinicians' agreement on four patient safety climate domains: communication openness, feedback and communication about errors, teamwork within units, and teamwork across units.

Findings:

After controlling for hospital and market-level characteristics, we found that patient satisfaction was significantly higher if managers and clinicians reported that patient safety climate is high or if only clinicians perceived the climate as high. Specifically, manager and clinician agreement on high levels of communication openness (β = 2.25, p = .01; β = 2.46, p = .05), feedback and communication about errors (β = 3.0, p = .001; β = 2.89, p = .01), and teamwork across units (β = 2.91, p = .001; β = 3.34, p = .01) was positively and significantly associated with patient satisfaction with discharge information and communication about medication. In addition, more favorable perceptions about patient safety climate by clinicians only yielded similar findings.

Practice Implications:

Organizations should measure and examine patient safety climate from multiple perspectives and be aware that individuals may have varying opinions about safety climate. Hospitals should encourage multidisciplinary collaboration given that staff perceptions about patient safety climate may be associated with patient satisfaction.

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