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Development and Validation of the Veterans Health Administration Patient Safety Culture Survey.

Mohr DC, Chen C, Sullivan J, Gunnar W, Damschroder L. Development and Validation of the Veterans Health Administration Patient Safety Culture Survey. Journal of Patient Safety. 2022 Sep 1; 18(6):539-545.

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RATIONALE, AIMS, AND OBJECTIVES: Patient safety culture (PSC) is an important concept in healthcare organization, and measuring it can lead to improved patient safety event reporting. We sought to test and validate an abbreviated version of a PSC measure within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). METHODS: An initial set of 34 items was identified to represent the VHA Patient Safety Culture Survey (VHA-PSCS). The items were administered as part of an annual survey administration in June 2019 (N = 205,117, 66.1% response rate). We derived a split-half sample and conducted exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis to identify factors. We examined reliability along with construct and criterion validity of the VHA-PSCS in relation to other workplace attitudes and behaviors. RESULTS: The final instrument includes 20 items with 4 scales derived from factor analysis: (a) risk identification and just culture; (b) error transparency and mitigation; (c) supervisor communication and trust; and (d) team cohesion and engagement. Reliability was supported based on Cronbach a coefficients and split-half testing. For criterion validity, Spearman correlations were greater than 0.40 between VHA-PSCS scales and employee satisfaction and intrinsic work experience. Correlations were greater than 0.20 between VHA-PSC scales and intent to leave, burnout, and self-rated reporting of error incidents. CONCLUSIONS: The VHA-PSCS reflects 4 dimensions of patient safety. The instrument can be used to benchmark and compare progress of VHA''s PSC transformation across the organization and within medical centers, to strengthen patient safety event reporting, investigation, and quality of care.

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