Employees' perception of the culture of patient safety and patient satisfaction surveys at 3 selected private hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria, West Africa
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Statement of the problem: Patient safety is a very critical component in improving and sustaining optimal health care quality in healthcare organizations. There is a growing concern about medical errors, which have been identified as one of the five most common causes of death. The burden of medical errors on patients’ lives can be devastating. Although there are very limited studies on patient safety and/or patient satisfaction from Africa and none from Nigeria, the few study findings suggest that extrapolating figures yields a calculation that suggests that more than 10,000 patients (i.e. 1 patient every day) die from preventable adverse events at hospitals in Africa. As health care organizations endeavor to improve their health care quality, there is a growing recognition of the need for establishing a culture of patient safety in Africa. Goal: To conduct a pilot assessment of the patient safety culture in 3 different hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria and compare results with the Association for Healthcare Research and Quality, an international organization, that utilizes the same tool. Purpose: To study the assess employees’ perception of the culture of patient safety and patient satisfaction at 3 private hospitals within Lagos and compare this data to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) benchmarks from Critical Care Access hospitals from 2012; to determine if there are any correlations between HSOPSC, and Patient Satisfaction variables within each hospital setting. Methods: This is an analysis of secondary data collected in a cross-sectional study that adopted a customized version of the Hospital Survey of Patient Safety Culture (HSOPSC) and convenient sampling of clinical and non-clinical employees at 3 hospitals in Lagos, Nigeria. It also includes analysis of secondary data collected in another cross-sectional study of Patient Satisfaction in the Outpatient Clinics at these 3 hospitals. Results: This analysis of secondary data was done on responses from 156 employees and 225 patients. Areas of strength for the HSOPSC were Teamwork, Organizational Learning and Continuous Improvement within the units whereas areas requiring improvement were Hospital Non-Punitive Response to Error, Staffing and Communication Openness with the surveys. Conclusion: The culture of patient safety is an imperative for improving patient outcomes (as indicated in events reporting) and patient satisfaction in the 3 hospitals. This is a pilot study that suggests the need for more studies in Nigeria, considering the factors that are outlined in this study as being correlated. The major drawback with correlation is that it does not predict causal relationships.
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