AHRQ Issues 2014 Report on Nursing Home Safety Culture

November 16, 2014    |   By: Calevir

AHRQ has now collected data from thousands of nursing home safety culture surveys, representing 263 communities.  In October, AHRQ released a comprehensive report of that data.  It contains a number of interesting patterns based on the size, ownership (for profit or not-for-profit-the homes in the database are split about 50-50) and location (urban or rural) of respondents, and is available to anyone on the AHRQ website. It also includes helpful material on how to analyze the results of your own survey and tools to use in developing action plans to improve safety culture.   Some highlights and lowlights:

  • Respondents consistently rated their homes well for providing safe care to residents and their willingness to tell someone if they see something that would harm a resident.
  • The scores also reflected a strong sense that there is good communication and feedback about incidents and how to respond to keep residents safe.
  • On the other hand, many respondents felt that their homes have a punitive response to errors, punishing the person rather than looking at the event.

The highest scores came from the Midwest, though those still left room for improvement.

Scores from those who identified themselves as management tended to be much higher than scores from CNA’s and other front-line workers, indicating that managers see the culture as more supportive of safety than the staff does.  This sort of difference might suggest a need for leadership to explore the views of the staff through discussions or interviews to see why the perceptions differ.  Here are some management/staff score differentials:

  • Management Support for Resident Safety: – 24% difference
  • Supervisor Expectations and Actions Support Resident Safety – 16% difference
  • Teamwork – 19% difference
  • Communication Openness – 31% difference

Anyone interested in administering the survey through CPS can get more information here or contact Alex Christgen or Kathy Wire.  CPS can also provide assistance in interpreting the survey data and developing responses.


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