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Assessment of patient safety climate in accident and emergency departments in Cyprus

Christoforos Nicolaides, Antoniya Slavcheva Dimova

Abstract

Introduction: The aim of the study is to evaluate safety climate in the accident and emergency (A&E) departments in Cyprus. This would help for an assessment of the general patient safety environment and could be used as a starting point for the establishment of a quality management system, which ensures patient safety.

Material and Methods: A sociological survey using Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ) was conducted with 284 employees (68%) working at the A&E departments in five public hospitals in Cyprus in 2013 and 2014. SAQ consists of 30 statements, examining safety climate in six domains: teamwork, safety, job satisfaction, working conditions, stress and perceptions of management, which respondents have to agree or disagree with.

Results: Safety climate in the A&EDs in Cyprus is questionable since none of the safety climate dimensions received a positive assessment. Job satisfaction is highly rated, while stress recognition received the lowest assessment.

Although the majority of the respondents declared that they would feel safe being treated at their hospital as patients, a few of the surveyed think that medical errors are handled appropriately.

This study found a strong reverse correlation between work intensity and personnel`s general perceptions of safety climate. In those departments, which admit more patients per staff member annually, personnel`s perceptions of safety climate are more negative.

Conclusion: The lack of adequate managerial support and commitment to safety issues can be considered as key determinants of the weak safety culture in the A&EDs in public hospitals in Cyprus.


Keywords

safety climate; patient safety; accident & emergency; quality of care; Cyprus

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14748/sssp.v1i2.1355

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About The Authors

Christoforos Nicolaides
Nicosia General Hospital
Cyprus

Antoniya Slavcheva Dimova
Department of economics and health care management, Faculty of Public health, Medical University of Varna
Bulgaria

Economics and Healthcare Department

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