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A comprehensive obstetrics patient safety program improves safety climate and culture

      Objective

      The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of an obstetrics patient safety program on staff safety culture.

      Study Design

      We implemented (1) obstetrics patient safety nurse, (2) protocol-based standardization of practice, (3) crew resource management training, (4) oversight by a patient safety committee, (5) 24-hour obstetrics hospitalist, and (6) an anonymous event reporting system. We administered the Safety Attitude Questionnaire on 4 occasions over 5 years (2004-2009) to all staff members that assessed teamwork and safety cultures, job satisfaction, working conditions, stress recognition, and perceptions of management.

      Results

      We observed significant improvements in the proportion of staff members with favorable perceptions of teamwork culture (39% in 2004 to 63% in 2009), safety culture (33% to 63%), job satisfaction (39% to 53%), and management (10% to 37%). Individual roles (obstetrics providers, residents, and nurses) also experienced improvements in safety and teamwork, with significantly better congruence between doctors and nurses.

      Conclusion

      Safety programs can improve workforce perceptions of safety and an improved safety climate.

      Key words

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