This study’s objective was to assess the patient safety culture in a large, integrated health delivery system’s pharmacy department to allow for benchmarking with other health systems.
This was a cross-sectional survey conducted in a pharmacy department consisting of staff members who provide dispensing, clinical, and support services within an integrated health delivery system. The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s 11-composite, validated Pharmacy Survey on Patient Safety Culture questionnaire was transcribed into an online format. All departmental staff members were invited to participate in this anonymous survey. Cronbach α and overall results and contrasts between dispensing and clinical services staff and dispensing pharmacists and technicians/clerks as percentage positive scores (PPSs) are presented. Differences in contrasts were assessed with χ2 tests of association.
Completed questionnaires were received from 598 (69.9%) of 855 employees. Cronbach α ranged from 0.55 to 0.90. Overall, the highest and lowest composite PPSs were for patient counseling (94.5%) and staffing and work pressure (44.7%), respectively. Compared with dispensing service, the clinical service participants had statistically higher PPSs for all composites except patient counseling, communication about mistakes, and staffing and work pressure (all P > 0.05). The technicians/clerks had a statistically higher PPS compared with the pharmacists for communication about mistakes (P = 0.007). All other composites were equivalent between groups.
Patient counseling consistently had the highest PPS among composites measured, but opportunities existed for improvement in all aspects measured. Future research should identify and assess interventions targeted to improving the patient safety culture in pharmacy.