The aim of the study was to determine whether race
differences exist in voluntarily reported harmful patient safety
events in a large 10 hospital healthcare system on a high reliability organization
From July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2017, employees in a healthcare system based in Washington, District of Columbia, and Maryland voluntarily reported harmful patient safety
events by type using a Patient Safety
Event Management System. Inpatients, outpatients, and observation patients were identified as “black,” “white,” or “other” (N = 5038). Using retrospective analysis and χ2
goodness of fit, comparisons of race
proportions were conducted to determine differences at the health system level, by hospital, by event type, and by severity.
differences existed: (1) overall with higher proportions of whites and lower proportions of other in a Patient Safety
Event Management System; (2) by type across races; (3) in six hospitals across races; and (4) by type and by hospital for blacks and whites. All differences were significant at P
differences in harmful events exist in voluntary reporting systems by type and by hospital setting. Healthcare organizations, particularly healthcare high reliability organizations, can use these findings to help identify areas of further study and investigation. Further study and investigation should include efforts to understand the root cause of the differences found in this study, including the role of reporting bias.