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The virgin land of quality management: a first measure of patient safety climate at the National Hospital of the Faroe Islands

Authors Kristensen S, Tugvustein N, Zachariassen H, Sabroe S, Bartels P, Mainz J

Received 15 November 2015

Accepted for publication 11 February 2016

Published 26 April 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 49—57


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Chul Ahn

Solvejg Kristensen,1,2 Naina Túgvustein,3 Hjørdis Zachariassen,3 Svend Sabroe,4 Paul Bartels,1,5 Jan Mainz5,6

1The Danish Clinical Registries, Aarhus, 2Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark; 3National Hospital of the Faroe Islands, Torshavn, Faroe Islands; 4Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, 5Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, 6Aalborg University Hospital, Psychiatry, Aalborg, Denmark

Purpose: The Faroe Islands are formally part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but the islands enjoy extensive autonomy as home ruled. In Denmark, extensive quality management initiatives have been implemented throughout hospitals, this was not the case in the Faroese Islands in 2013. The purpose of this study is to investigate the patient safety culture in the National Hospital of the Faroe Islands prior to implementation of quality management initiatives.
Methods: The Danish version of the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ-DK) was distributed electronically to 557 staff members from five medical centers of the hospital, and one administrative unit. SAQ-DK has six cultural dimensions. The proportion of respondents with positive attitudes and mean scale scores were described, and comparison between medical specialties, and between clinical leaders and frontline staff was made using analysis of variance and chi-square test, respectively.
Results: The response rate was 65.8% (N=367). Job satisfaction was rated most favorable, and the perceived culture of the top management least favorable. Safety climate was the dimension with the greatest variability across the 28 units. The diagnostic center had the most favorable culture of all centers. More leaders than frontline staff had positive attitudes toward teamwork and safety climate, and working conditions, respectively. Also, the leaders perceived these dimensions more positive than the frontline staff, P<0.05. Among three management levels, the unit management was perceived most favorable and the top management least favorable.
Conclusion: The management group is recommended to raise awareness of their role in supporting a safe and caring environment for patients and staff, moreover the leaders should ensure that every day work achieves its objectives; keeping the patients safe. Furthermore, following the development in patient safety culture over time is recommended.

Keywords: safety attitudes questionnaire, medical specialties, frontline staff, clinical leaders, patient safety culture

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