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Nursing News: Study Reveals Patient Safety Concerns for C-Suite Execs

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, May 14th, 2013

Patient safety is the top priority for hospital C-Suite executives and risk managers in the U.S. but “lack of teamwork, negative culture and poor communication” will present barriers to patient safety in the future, according to a new survey commissioned by American International Group (AIG).

While nearly all respondents (96% of C-Suite and Risk Managers) say their hospital has a “culture of patient safety,” one-third admit their hospital needs to undergo major changes to maintain that culture in the future.

A majority of respondents said the biggest barrier to patient safety is lack of teamwork, negative culture and poor communication (42% C-Suite; 55% Risk Managers). The study also revealed inconsistent perceptions of who is responsible for patient safety and who “owns” it.

Virtually all hospital executives (98% of both C-Suite executives and Risk Managers) agree that “every staff member in my hospital is responsible for patient safety, but half believe that nurses “own” it.

“Given that nearly half of every dollar spent on healthcare costs is related to a medical error, improvements in patient safety will provide a quick return on investment,” said Emily Rhinehart, RN, MPH Vice President and Division Manager for Healthcare Risk Consulting, AIG.

Full results of the survey can be found at www.aig.com/us/prevention.

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