April 12, 2024

Healthcare safety report: Outcomes improving, but workplace violence persists

Editor's Note

Healthcare safety is moving in the right direction generally, but low perceptions of safety and rising reports of violence against nurses represent critical gaps that leaders should address, according to an April 2 press release on Press Ganey’s “Safety in Healthcare 2024” report.

Focused on event reporting, workforce culture, and patient perceptions, the report represents 12 million patient encounters, 1 million healthcare employees, as well as over 550,000 reported safety events in 2023. Key findings include:

  • Employee views of safety within their organization (based on factors such as sufficient staffing and ability to report mistakes without fear) have risen 1.2% over the last two years.
  • Nearly half of all staff and almost one-third of inpatients report low perceptions of safety.
  • Patients in medical practices and ambulatory settings felt substantially safer in 2023 (81.9%) compared to pre-pandemic levels (78.1%).
  • Only 68.5% of hospital patients felt “very safe,” a 5.1% decline over the same period.
  • The gap in patient perceptions of safety in inpatient and outpatient settings is now 2.5 times wider than the pre-pandemic gap.
  • Reported assaults against nursing personal increased 5% YoY.
  • Among other safety outcomes, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, ventilator-associated events, central line-associated bloodstream infections, and hospital-acquired pressure injuries improved significantly.

“Healthcare organizations that do best on safety embrace a holistic approach, with safety as a core value grounded in both patient and employee experiences. In doing so, they can foster a culture of high reliability, drive stronger, more consistent, and equitable safety outcomes, and make progress toward the goal of zero harm,” said Dr. Tejal Gandhi, chief safety and transformation officer at Press Ganey.

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