Patient safety not solely nurses’ job


Hospital executives seem to be sending contradictory messages regarding patient safety in a survey by American International Group (AIG), the huge insurance company. Every staff member in the hospital is responsible for patient safety, according to 98% of hospital C-suite executives. But then 52% say that nurses “own it.” The survey report adds, “Interestingly, these executives see nursing staff turnover as one of the least influential items on overall hospital risk, including patient safety, regardless of the fact that they place the onus of patient safety on nurses.”

The authors counter that everyone in the hospital must own patient safety: doctors, nurses, administrators, support staff. “Everyone who touches a patient is equally responsible for patient safety. Anyone who identifies an issue with patient safety must feel free to discuss that issue for the benefit of patient safety without fear of retribution.”

Hospital administrators assign responsibility

Most responsible for patient safety

Most responsible for patient safety

Most responsible for overall hospital risk (including patient safety)

Most responsible for overall hospital risk

Note: The data were generated by a 15-minute, computer-assisted telephone survey of 250 hospital executives conducted from Nov. 13 to Dec. 20, 2012.
Source: Patient Safety; Hospital Risk: Perspectives of Hospital C-Suite and Risk Managers, AIG, March 2013

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