To examine the relationship between measures of hospital safety climate and hospital performance on selected Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs).
Primary data from a 2004 survey of hospital personnel. Secondary data from the 2005 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review File and 2004 American Hospital Association's Annual Survey of Hospitals.
A cross-sectional study of 91 hospitals.
Negative binomial regressions used an unweighted, risk-adjusted PSI composite as dependent variable and safety climate scores and controls as independent variables. Some specifications included interpersonal, work unit, and organizational safety climate dimensions. Others included separate measures for senior managers and frontline personnel's safety climate perceptions.
Hospitals with better safety climate overall had lower relative incidence of PSIs, as did hospitals with better scores on safety climate dimensions measuring interpersonal beliefs regarding shame and blame. Frontline personnel's perceptions of better safety climate predicted lower risk of experiencing PSIs, but senior manager perceptions did not.
The results link hospital safety climate to indicators of potential safety events. Some aspects of safety climate are more closely related to safety events than others. Perceptions about safety climate among some groups, such as frontline staff, are more closely related than perceptions in other groups.