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Annual industry survey: Working on communication


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To improve the culture of safety, facilities need to work most on communication openness, handoffs and transitions, and feedback and communication about errors.

Asked about the top areas of improvement needed to meet patient safety culture program goals, respondents to the 2019 Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare Industry Outlook Survey said that communication openness was most in need of improvement (47%). Other areas of concern were hospital handoffs and transitions (39%) and feedback and communication about errors (38%).

Other areas of improvement cited were:

  • Teamwork across units. Forty-one percent of respondents said teamwork across units was another area that needs to improve to help the organization meet its patient safety culture program goals.
  • Hospital handoffs and transitions. Another communication-related issue, hospital handoffs and transitions, was listed third-most by respondents with 39%.


Other choices listed include:   

  • Feedback and communication about errors (38%)
  • Organizational learning/continuous improvement (35%)
  • Staffing (32%)
  • Nonpunitive response to error (16%)
  • Overall perceptions of safety (16%)
  • Hospital management support for patient safety (15%)
  • Frequency of events reported (14%)
  • Supervisor/management expectations (11%)
  • Teamwork within units (6%)


The survey report analyzes this and other patient safety and quality issues that concern healthcare organizations. Visit here to download the full report.