A closer look at associations between hospital leadership walkrounds and patient safety climate and risk reduction: a cross-sectional study

Am J Med Qual. Sep-Oct 2013;28(5):414-21. doi: 10.1177/1062860612473635. Epub 2013 Jan 25.


Leadership walkrounds (WRs) are widely used in health care organizations to improve patient safety. This retrospective, cross-sectional study evaluated the association between WRs and caregiver assessments of patient safety climate and patient safety risk reduction across 49 hospitals in a nonprofit health care system. Linear regression analyses using units' participation in WRs were conducted. Survey results from 706 hospital units revealed that units with ≥ 60% of caregivers reporting exposure to at least 1 WR had a significantly higher safety climate, greater patient safety risk reduction, and a higher proportion of feedback on actions taken as a result of WRs compared with those units with <60% of caregivers reporting exposure to WRs. WR participation at the unit level reflects a frequency effect as a function of units with none/low, medium, and high leadership WR exposure.

Keywords: hospital; leadership; leadership walkrounds; patient safety; safety climate.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feedback
  • Hospital Administration / methods*
  • Hospital Administration / standards
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control
  • Organizational Culture
  • Patient Safety*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • United States