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A safety culture assessment by mixed methods at a public maternity and infant hospital in China

Authors Listyowardojo TA, Yan X, Leyshon S, Ray-Sannerud B, Yu XY, Zheng K, Duan T

Received 14 March 2017

Accepted for publication 25 May 2017

Published 3 July 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 253—262

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S136943

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Devang Sanghavi

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Tita Alissa Listyowardojo,1 Xiaoling Yan,2,3 Stephen Leyshon,1 Bobbie Ray-Sannerud,1 Xin Yan Yu,4 Kai Zheng,4 Tao Duan2,3

1Life Sciences Program, Group Technology and Research, DNV GL, Hovik, Norway; 2Quality and Safety Department, Shanghai First Maternity and Infant Hospital, 3Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 4Healthcare Department, Business Assurance, DNV GL, Beijing, China

Objective: To assess safety culture at a public maternity hospital in Shanghai, China, using a sequential mixed methods approach. The study was part of a bigger study looking at the application of the mixed methods approach to assess safety culture in health care in different organizations and countries.
Methodology: A mixed methods approach was utilized by first distributing the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire measuring six safety culture dimensions and five independent items to all hospital staff (n=1482) working in 18 departments at a single hospital. Afterward, semistructured interviews were conducted using convenience sampling, where 48 hospital staff from nine departments at the same hospital were individually interviewed.
Results: The survey received a response rate of 96%. The survey findings show significant differences between the hospital departments in almost all safety culture dimensions and independent items. Similarly, the interview findings revealed that there were different, competing priorities between departments perceived to result in a reduced quality of collaboration and bottlenecks in care delivery. Another major finding was that staff who worked more hours per week would perceive working conditions significantly more negatively. Issues related to working conditions were also the most common concerns discussed in the interviews, especially the issue on high workload. High workload was also reflected in the fact that 91.45% of survey respondents reported that they worked 40 hours or longer per week. Finally, interview findings complemented survey findings, thus providing a more complete and accurate picture of safety culture.
Conclusion: Hospital leaders need to prioritize interventions focused on improving the quality of cross-department collaboration and reducing workload. A mixed methods assessment of safety culture provides more meaningful, targeted results, enabling leaders to prioritize and tailor improvement efforts to increase the impact of an intervention.

Keywords: semi-structured interview, survey, one child policy, the safety attitudes questionnaire, safety climate

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