“Through the survey we found a lot of information about the challenges facing today’s nurses including workloads, too many patients, time pressure, less than ideal nurse ratios and fatigue, but what we were also able to identify is some potential areas for improvement, with one significant area being technology to report errors,” said Reilly. “This survey is only one small part of the picture, and our efforts are one small part of a solution that involves participation from the individual hospital on up to national programs like the Partnership for Patients. GE and ANA are committed to helping healthcare systems tackle some of their toughest challenges, including addressing patient safety concerns through innovative technologies, partnerships and cultural education.”Culture According to the survey, nurses see themselves as having by far the most responsibility for patient safety (90%), over physicians (69%) or patient safety officers (60%). Nearly all (95%) nurses believe that it is extremely or very important that hospital leadership make patient safety a priority in creating an effective patient safety culture. The vast majority of nurses (85%) agree that their hospital has a patient safety culture, and 94% report that their hospitals have programs in place that promote patient safety. Having a culture where nurses are not penalized for reporting errors or near misses is seen as important by 90% of nurses. However, 59% agree that nurses often hold back in reporting patient errors in fear of punishment [67% US, 62% UK, 49% China], and 62% agree that nurses often hold back in reporting near misses for that reason [69% US, 65% UK, 54% China]. However, it is questionable if these programs are meeting their objectives; only 41% of nurses describe the hospital they work in as “safe” and fewer than 6 in 10 (57%) believe the patient safety programs in their hospital are effective, resulting in a great opportunity for improvement in patient safety procedures.
CommunicationAmong the most important aspects of creating an effective patient safety culture are communication with the patient and effective communication with the physicians. However, just 4 in 10 (37%) rate their hospital as excellent at communication with the patient and 31% say their hospital is excellent at communication between staff. Further, 33% name “poor communication among nurses at handoff” as something that has increased the risk of patient safety incidences in their hospital in the past 12 months, and 31% say “poor communication with doctors” has also increased the risk of patient safety incidents. “It’s no surprise that communication is a challenge for nurses today, given heavy patient loads and the time that they are able to spend on patient care is constantly decreasing,” said Cheryl Peterson, MSN, RN, director of nursing practice & policy of ANA. “Where we can help is increasing the quality of communication, and arming nurses and front-line staff with the information they need to effectively communicate on behalf of the patient.” About the GE Healthcare Patient Safety Survey The GE Healthcare Patient Safety Study was conducted by research firm Edelman Berland as an online survey among a total of 900 practicing registered nurses (500 in the United States, 200 in the United Kingdom, and 200 in China). The survey took an average of 27 minutes to complete in the U.S., 30 minutes in the UK and 34 minutes in China. Total as represented in this study includes respondents from the U.S., UK and China, and the U.S. is weighted down so that each of the three countries is represented equally within that total. The margin of error is +/- 5 percent with a 95 percent confidence level. Edelman Berland also conducted 14 in-depth interviews with nurses from a wide spectrum of facilities, organizations and fields with similarly varied backgrounds with patient, teaching and administrative responsibilities. Interviews lasted between half an hour and an hour and were conducted between October 12 and November 4, 2011 in the U.S., the UK and China. Subjects were recruited with the assistance of GE, the American Nursing Association and the Royal College of Nurses.
About GE HealthcareGE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com. About American Nurses Association The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.1 million registered nurses through its constituent and state nurses associations and its organizational affiliates. The ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.