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Provider Approachability: An All-staff Survey Approach to Creating a Culture of Safety.

Deyo-Svendsen, Mark E. MD; Palmer, Karl B. MS, RN; Albright, Jill K. MS, RN; Phillips, Michael R. MD; Schilling, Keith A. MBA; Cabrera Svendsen, Matthew E. MD, MPH
Journal of Patient Safety: Post Author Corrections: August 17, 2017
doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000409
Original Article: PDF Only

Objectives: A culture-of-safety survey of our hospital staff revealed fear-based reluctance to question those in authority. We aimed to examine provider approachability (words and actions that promote trust and reduce or eliminate fear of interaction).

Methods: Providers and staff completed an anonymous facility-wide survey (survey 1) regarding perceptions of provider approachability. Results were safely communicated to providers, and improvement resources were offered. A follow-up survey (survey 2 [S2]) was performed.

Results: The survey participation rate was 59% (389/658). Eighty-four percent of providers had improved scores in S2. Mean top-box scores improved from 0.63 to 0.76 (P < .001). Providers deemed less approachable by nonprovider staff were also deemed less approachable by their peers (r = 0.82; survey 1). Forty-four percent reported improvement in the safety culture in S2. Twenty-eight percent of providers reported making efforts to improve how they were perceived by others.

Conclusions: Provider approachability surveys are a safe, effective method of assessing and encouraging positive interactions that promote trust and influence positive communication. The process created an opportunity to identify and assist providers who were less approachable.

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