Volume 1 Supplement 1

Safety in Health

Open Access

Feasibility trial to assess the patient safety culture in the professional group of dietitians

  • Sarah Geil1,
  • Gerald Sendlhofer2, 3Email author,
  • Hermann Toplak1,
  • Gudrun Pregartner4 and
  • Elisabeth Pail1
Safety in Health20151(Suppl 1):A14

DOI: 10.1186/2056-5917-1-S1-A14

Published: 30 October 2015

Background

Patient safety culture is determined by the requirement of understanding of values, attitudes, competences and behavioral patterns [1, 2]. Dietitians are health professionals trained to advice on diet, food and nutrition and provide nutrition expertise including nutrition assessment, diet modification and individual or group counselling [3]. Within hospitals, dietitians represent a relatively small professional group. For example, the University Hospital Graz has eleven dietitians and approximately 7,000 employees in total.

The primary aim of this feasibility trial was to assess the perceived patient safety culture solely within the professional group of dietitians. Three hospital organizations from Austria, Germany and Switzerland were invited to participate. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report concerning patient safety culture within the professional group of dietitians.

Material and methods

ETH Zurich, Center for Organizational and Occupational Sciences (PASKI) translated the HSOPSC survey into German [4]. Survey results are separated into three levels:

· Level 1: 9 dimensions concerning the unit-level

· Level 2: 3 dimensions concerning the hospital-level

· Level 3: 3 Outcome measures

The survey contained 48 questions using the 5-point Likert response scale of agreement. In 2014 a paper-pencil feasibility trial was conducted. The questionnaire was sent to 62 nutrition experts (Austria n = 44, Germany n = 16, Switzerland n = 2); the survey was open for one month. The conduct of the online survey was approved by the Medical University Graz Ethics Committee (vote-number: 27-002 ex 14/15).

Survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Internal consistency of the questionnaire and its items was measured by Cronbach's alpha coefficient. Reliability was considered good if values were >0.7 and very good if values were >0.9. All analyses were conducted using SPSS version 21.

Results

The overall response rate was 55% (n = 18 (41%) from Austria, n = 14 (88%) from Germany and n = 2 (100%) from Switzerland). Cronbach alpha coefficient ranged from 0.44 for item "feedback and communication about error" to 0.90 for the item "handoffs and transition across units".
Table 1

Pooled survey results for dietitians from Austria (n = 18), Germany (n = 14) and Switzerland (n = 2).

 

Mean

SD

Median

Min

Max

9 dimensions concerning a unit or department

Manager expectations and actions promoting safety

4.18

0.67

4.00

2.67

5.00

Organizational learning

4.25

0.55

4.33

3.33

5.00

Teamwork within hospital units

3.92

0.65

4.00

2.50

5.00

Communication openness

3.96

0.58

4.00

2.67

5.00

Feedback and error communication

4.21

0.60

4.17

2.67

5.00

Non-punitive response to error

4.15

0.65

4.00

2.50

5.00

Staffing

2.84

0.94

2.50

1.00

5.00

Management support with respect to patient safety

4.11

0.69

4.25

1.75

5.00

Handoffs and transition within the unit

3.65

0.73

3.71

1.75

5.00

3 Outcome measures

Frequency of event reporting

3.56

0.78

4.00

1.33

4.67

Overall perceptions of safety

4.11

0.52

4.13

3.25

5.00

Patient safety in general

2.17

0.45

2.00

1.00

3.00

3 dimensions concerning the hospital

Teamwork across hospital units

3.78

0.57

3.75

2.50

5.00

Handoffs and transition across units

3.62

0.63

3.67

2.50

5.00

Supervisor expectations and actions promoting safety

4.15

0.55

4.33

2.67

5.00

Conclusions

This feasibility trial was the first attempt to attract the professional group of dietitians in assessing the patient safety culture. So far, the professional group of dietitians had been underrepresented in the literature concerning patient safety culture measurements. The targeted goal to compare three nations was not achieved. As only two dietitians from Switzerland took part, just pooled results are shown. Perceived patient safety culture for almost all items had been good, despite the item of "staffing" and "patient safety in general". This feasibility trial could be supportive to further attract patient safety aspects such as critical incident reporting systems or clinical risk management within the professional group of dietitians.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all participants who took part in this feasibility trial.

Declarations

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Medical University Graz
(2)
Executive Department for Quality and Risk Management, University Hospital Graz
(3)
Division of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Medical University of Graz
(4)
Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation, Medical University of Graz

References

  1. Occelli P, Quenon JL, Kret M, Domecq S, Delaperche F, Claverie O, et al: Validation of the French version of the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture questionnaire. Int J Qual Health Care. 2013, 25 (4): 459-468.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
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  3. Dietitians make a difference to employee health: Highlights from a systematic literature review of the effectiveness of nutrition counselling. Dietitians of Canada. 2009, (Accessed 14 March 2015), [http://www.dietitians.ca/Dietitians-Views/Health-Care-System/Primary-Health-Care/Dietitians-make-the-difference.aspx]
  4. Manual zum Patientensicherheitsklima-Inventar (PaSKI): ETH Zürich, Center for Organizational and Occupational Sciences. (Accessed 15 March 2015), [http://www.beldonor.be/internet2Prd/groups/public/@public/@dg1/@acutecare/documents/ie2divers/19066312_de.pdf]

Copyright

© Geil et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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