[Is patient safety culture measurable and if so, how is it done?]

Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes. 2009;103(8):515-20. doi: 10.1016/j.zefq.2009.08.004.
[Article in German]


Safety culture is one aspect of organisational culture. It is the pattern of shared values, beliefs and attitudes concerning safety present in an organisation. In this article, Edgar Schein's three-layer model is used to demonstrate to what extent a safety culture can be directly and indirectly measured. Several methods for the assessment of safety culture are presented: questionnaires evaluating the safety climate, methods enabling teams to perform self-assessment, interviews, audits, analyses of safety reports and observation. The aim of the assessment is crucial to the choice of the appropriate mode of measurement. In healthcare, the currently most widely used instrument is questionnaires since it is comparatively simple to use and inexpensive and yields rapid results. However, the employment of additional measures (interviews, audits, analyses of safety reports) is more appropriate if the most important aspects of safety culture in a given organisation need to be covered.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care / standards*
  • Family Practice / standards*
  • Humans
  • Patients*
  • Safety*