Importance: Hospital safety culture remains a critical consideration when seeking to reduce medical errors and improve quality of care. Little is known regarding whether participation in a comprehensive, multicomponent, statewide quality collaborative is associated with changes in hospital safety culture.
Objective: To examine whether implementation of a comprehensive, multicomponent, statewide surgical quality improvement collaborative is associated with changes in hospital safety culture.
Design, setting, and participants: In this survey study, the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire, a 56-item validated survey covering 6 culture domains (teamwork, safety, operating room safety, working conditions, perceptions of management, and employee engagement), was administered to a random sample of physicians, nurses, operating room staff, administrators, and leaders across Illinois hospitals to assess hospital safety culture prior to launching a new statewide quality collaborative in 2015 and then again in 2017. The final analysis included 1024 respondents from 36 diverse hospitals, including major academic, community, and rural centers, enrolled in ISQIC (Illinois Surgical Quality Improvement Collaborative).
Exposures: Participation in a comprehensive, multicomponent statewide surgical quality improvement collaborative. Key components included enrollment in a common standardized data registry, formal quality and process improvement training, participation in collaborative-wide quality improvement projects, funding support for local projects, and guidance provided by surgeon mentors and process improvement coaches.
Main outcomes and measures: Perception of hospital safety culture.
Results: The overall survey response rate was 43.0% (580 of 1350 surveys) in 2015 and 39.0% (444 of 1138 surveys) in 2017 from 36 hospitals. Improvement occurred in all the overall domains, with significant improvement in teamwork climate (change, 3.9%; P = .03) and safety climate (change, 3.2%; P = .02). The largest improvements occurred in individual measures within domains, including physician-nurse collaboration (change, 7.2%; P = .004), reporting of concerns (change, 4.7%; P = .009), and reduction in communication breakdowns (change, 8.4%; P = .005). Hospitals with the lowest baseline safety culture experienced the largest improvements following collaborative implementation (change range, 11.1%-14.9% per domain; P < .05 for all). Although several hospitals experienced improvement in safety culture in 1 domain, most hospitals experienced improvement across several domains.
Conclusions and relevance: This survey study found that hospital enrollment in a statewide quality improvement collaborative was associated with overall improvement in safety culture after implementing multiple learning collaborative strategies. Hospitals with the poorest baseline culture reported the greatest improvement following implementation of the collaborative.