An exploration of Australian hospital pharmacists' attitudes to patient safety
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Objectives: To explore the attitudes of Australian hospital pharmacists towards patient safety in their work settings. Methods: A safety climate questionnaire was administered to all 2347 active members of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia in 2010. Part of the survey elicited free‐text comments about patient safety, error and incident reporting. The comments were subjected to thematic analysis to determine the attitudes held by respondents in relation to patient safety and its quality management in their work settings. Key findings: Two hundred and ten (210) of 643 survey respondents provided comments on safety and quality issues related to their work settings. The responses contained a number of dominant themes including issues of workforce and working conditions, incident reporting systems, the response when errors occur, the presence or absence of a blame culture, hospital management support for safety initiatives, openness about errors and the value of teamwork. A number of pharmacists described the development of a mature patient‐safety culture – one that is open about reporting errors and active in reducing their occurrence. Others described work settings in which a culture of blame persists, stifling error reporting and ultimately compromising patient safety. Conclusion: Australian hospital pharmacists hold a variety of attitudes that reflect diverse workplace cultures towards patient safety, error and incident reporting. This study has provided an insight into these attitudes and the actions that are needed to improve the patient‐safety culture within Australian hospital pharmacy work settings.
International Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences not elsewhere classified