This paper discusses the use of safety culture assessment as a tool for improving patient safety. It describes the characteristics of culture assessment tools currently available and discusses their current and potential uses, including brief examples from healthcare organisations that have used them. It also highlights critical processes that healthcare organisations need to consider when deciding to use these tools.
The authors highlight safety culture assessment as the starting point for patient safety changes. They suggest that safety culture assessment is useful if it:
- involves key stakeholders
- uses a suitable safety culture assessment tool
- uses effective data collection procedures
- implements action planning and initiates change.