Measurement for improvement: a survey of current practice in Australian public hospitals

Brand, Caroline A., Tropea, Joanne, Ibrahim, Joseph E., Elkadi, Shaymaa O., Bain, Christopher A., Ben-Tovim, David I., Bucknall, Tracey K., Greenberg, Peter B. and Spigelman, Allan D. 2008, Measurement for improvement: a survey of current practice in Australian public hospitals, Medical journal of Australia, vol. 189, no. 1, pp. 35-40.

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Title Measurement for improvement: a survey of current practice in Australian public hospitals
Author(s) Brand, Caroline A.
Tropea, Joanne
Ibrahim, Joseph E.
Elkadi, Shaymaa O.
Bain, Christopher A.
Ben-Tovim, David I.
Bucknall, Tracey K.ORCID iD for Bucknall, Tracey K.
Greenberg, Peter B.
Spigelman, Allan D.
Journal name Medical journal of Australia
Volume number 189
Issue number 1
Start page 35
End page 40
Total pages 6
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Place of publication Sydney, N.S.W.
Publication date 2008-07-07
ISSN 0025-729X
Summary Objective:
To identify patient safety measurement tools in use in Australian public hospitals and to determine barriers to their use.

Structured survey, conducted between 4 March and 19 May 2005, designed to identify tools, and to assess current use of, levels of satisfaction with, and barriers to use of tools for measuring the domains and subdomains of: organisational capacity to provide safe health care; patient safety incidents; and clinical performance.

Participants and setting:
Hospital executives, managers and clinicians from a nationwide random sample of Australian public hospitals stratified by state and hospital peer grouping.

Main outcome measures:
Tools used by hospitals within the three domains and their subdomains; patient safety tools and processes identified by individuals at these hospitals; satisfaction with the tools; and barriers to their use.

Eighty-two of 167 invited hospitals (49%) responded. The survey ascertained a comprehensive list of patient safety measurement tools that are in current use for measuring all patient safety domains. Overall, there was a focus on use of processes rather than quantitative measurement tools. Approximately half the 182 individual respondents from participating hospitals reported satisfaction with existing tools. The main reported barriers were lack of integrated supportive systems, resource constraints and inadequate access to robust measurement tools validated in the Australian context. Measurement of organisational capacity was reported by 50 (61%), of patient safety incidents by 81 (99%) and of clinical performance by 81 (99%).

Australian public hospitals are measuring the safety of their health care, with some variation in measurement of patient safety domains and their subdomains. Improved access to robust tools may support future standardisation of measurement for improvement.

Language eng
Field of Research 111103 Nutritional Physiology
Socio Economic Objective 920210 Nursing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Australasian Medical Publishing Company
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