Negative Behaviors among Healthcare Professionals: Relationship with Patient Safety Culture

Healthcare (Basel). 2019 Feb 1;7(1):23. doi: 10.3390/healthcare7010023.


Behaviors that undermine a culture of safety within hospitals threaten overall wellbeing of healthcare workers as well as patient outcomes. Existing evidence suggests negative behaviors adversely influence patient outcomes, employee satisfaction, retention, productivity, absenteeism, and employee engagement. Our objective was to examine the presence of negative behaviors within a healthcare system and the influence of negative behaviors among healthcare workers on perceptions of patient safety culture. Using a cross-sectional design, the negative behaviors in healthcare survey (NBHC) and selected composites of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (HSOPS) were combined within an electronic survey which was administered to physicians, clinical and managerial staff. Exposure to contributing factors of negative behaviors was moderately correlated with elements of HSOPS, including perceptions of teamwork within units, management response to error, and overall patient safety grade. Use of aggression and fear of retaliation were moderately correlated with HSOPS management response to error. Reducing healthcare worker exposure to contributing factors of negative behavior may result in increased perceptions of teamwork within a hospital unit, while addressing use of staff aggression and fear of retaliation potentially positively influences management response to error.

Keywords: interprofessional behavior; negative behaviors; outcomes; patient safety.