How Differences Between Manager and Clinician Perceptions of Safety Culture Impact Hospital Processes of Care

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Abstract

Objective

Evidenced-based processes of care improve patient outcomes, yet universal compliance is lacking, and perceptions of the quality of care are highly variable. The purpose of this study is to examine how differences in clinician and management perceptions on teamwork and communication relate to adherence to hospital processes of care.

Methods

Hospitals submitted identifiable data for the 2012 Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Hospital Compare. The dependent variable was a composite, developed from the scores on adherence to acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia process of care measures. The primary independent variables reflected 4 safety culture domains: communication openness, feedback about errors, teamwork within units, and teamwork between units. We assigned each hospital into one of 4 groups based on agreement between managers and clinicians on each domain. Each hospital was categorized as “high” (above the median) or “low” (below) for clinicians and managers in communication and teamwork.

Results

We found a positive relationship between perceived teamwork and communication climate and processes of care measures. If managers and clinicians perceived the communication openness as high, the hospital was more likely to adhere with processes of care. Similarly, if clinicians perceived teamwork across units as high, the hospital was more likely to adhere to processes of care.

Conclusions

Manager and staff perceptions about teamwork and communications impact adherence to processes of care. Policies should recognize the importance of perceptions of both clinicians and managers on teamwork and communication and seek to improve organizational climate and practices. Clinician perceptions of teamwork across units are more closely linked to processes of care, so managers should be cognizant and try to improve their perceptions.

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