Working paper

Developing international benchmarks of patient safety culture in hospital care

Findings of the OECD patient safety culture pilot data collection and considerations for future work
Patient safety Occupational health and safety Organisational culture Primary health care Quality management Hospitals OECD countries

Improving patient safety culture (PSC) is a significant priority for OECD countries as they work to improve healthcare quality and safety—a goal that has increased in importance as countries have faced new safety concerns connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings from benchmarking work in PSC show that there is significant room for improvement. Across included survey findings from OECD countries, less than half (46% ) of surveyed health workers believe that important patient care information is transferred across hospital units and during shift changes. Just two-in-five surveyed health workers in OECD countries believe the staffing levels at their workplace are appropriate for ensuring patient safety (40%) or that mistakes and event reports would not be held against them (41%). 

International benchmarking is a feasible and useful addition to existing measurement initiatives on safety culture and may help accelerate necessary improvements in patient safety outcomes.

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OECD Health Working Papers 134