Exploring the Relationship Between Perceptions of Safety Culture and Patient Safety Events in Inpatient Clinical Teams

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Communication, Missouri State University.

2 Department of Communication, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, United States.

3 Department of Public Health, NDSU; Center for Biobehavioral Health, Sanford Research, Fargo, ND, United States


Inpatient clinical teams in hospitals must communicate properly to maintain a culture of safety. The purpose of this study was to understand how perceptions of patient safety culture relate to the frequency of safety events in hospitals. Predicted connections were made between elements of safety culture and safety events, using Schein’s model of organizational culture as a framework.
 Materials and Methods:
The research team was able to gain access to a large sample of perceptions of safety culture from clinical teams in hospitals.
Results showed that handoffs and transitions were a significant predictor of the reduction of safety events, whereas other predictors were not significant. Implications for communication research on clinical teams are discussed.
Implications are provided for the variables along with a discussion of the findings from the data. Practical implications for healthcare teams are also discussed for consideration of team member behaviors in the future. Suggestions for future research are identified.


Main Subjects

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