In the era of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, quality of care and patient safety in health care have never been more visible to patients or providers. Registered nurses (nurses) are key players not only in providing direct patient care but also in evaluating the quality and safety of care provided to patients and families.
We had the opportunity to study a unique cohort of nurses to understand more about the common predictors of nurse-reported quality of care and patient safety across acute care settings.
We analyzed cross-sectional survey data that were collected in 2015 from 731 nurses, as part of a national 10-year panel study of nurses. Variables selected for inclusion in regression analyses were chosen based on the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety model, which is composed of work system or structure, process, and outcomes.
Our findings indicate that factors from three components of the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety model–Work System (person, environment, and organization) are predictive of quality of care and patient safety as reported by nurses. The main results from our multiple linear and logistic regression models suggest that significant predictors common to both quality and safety were job satisfaction and organizational constraints. In addition, unit type and procedural justice were associated with patient safety, whereas better nurse-physician relations were associated with quality of care.
Increasing nurses’ job satisfaction and reducing organizational constraints may be areas to focus on to improve quality of care and patient safety.
Our results provide direction for hospitals and nurse managers as to how to allocate finite resources to achieve improvements in quality of care and patient safety alike.