Effects of patient safety auditing in hospital care: results of a mixed-method evaluation (part 1)
SourceInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care, 31, 7, (2019), pp. 8-15
Article / Letter to editor
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International Journal for Quality in Health Care
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 6: Metabolic Disorders RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of internal auditing in hospital care focussed on improving patient safety. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A before-and-after mixed-method evaluation study was carried out in eight departments of a university medical center in the Netherlands. INTERVENTION(S): Internal auditing and feedback focussed on improving patient safety. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): The effect of internal auditing was assessed 15 months after the audit, using linear mixed models, on the patient, professional, team and departmental levels. The measurement methods were patient record review on adverse events (AEs), surveys regarding patient experiences, safety culture and team climate, analysis of administrative hospital data (standardized mortality rate, SMR) and safety walk rounds (SWRs) to observe frontline care processes on safety. RESULTS: The AE rate decreased from 36.1% to 31.3% and the preventable AE rate from 5.5% to 3.6%; however, the differences before and after auditing were not statistically significant. The patient-reported experience measures regarding patient safety improved slightly over time (P < 0.001). The SMR, patient safety culture and team climate remained unchanged after the internal audit. The SWRs showed that medication safety and information security were improved (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Internal auditing was associated with improved patient experiences and observed safety on wards. No effects were found on adverse outcomes, safety culture and team climate 15 months after the internal audit.
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