Organizational and environmental factors that affect worker health and safety and patient outcomes

Am J Infect Control. 2002 Apr;30(2):93-106. doi: 10.1067/mic.2002.119820.


This article reviews organizational factors that influence the satisfaction, health, safety, and well-being of health care workers and ultimately, the satisfaction, safety, and quality of care for patients. The impact of the work environment on working conditions and the effects on health care workers and patients are also addressed. Studies focusing on worker health and safety concerns affected by the organization and the physical work environment provide evidence of direct positive and/or adverse effects on performance and suggest indirect effects on the quality of patient care. The strongest links between worker and patient outcomes are demonstrated in literature on nosocomial transmission of infections. Transmission of infections from worker to patient and from patient to patient via health care worker has been well documented in clinical studies. Literature on outbreaks of infectious diseases in health care settings has linked the physical environment with adverse patient and worker outcomes. An increasing number of studies are looking at the relationship between improvement in organizational factors and measurable and positive change in patient outcomes. Characteristics of selected magnet hospitals are reviewed as one model for improving patient and worker outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allied Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Health Facility Environment / organization & administration*
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Work Schedule Tolerance