Perceptions of pediatric hospital safety culture in the united states: An analysis of the 2016 hospital survey on patient safety culture

Pamela J. Gampetro*, John P. Segvich, Neil Jordan, Barbara Velsor-Friedrich, Lisa Burkhart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Medical errors in the pediatric population can quickly cause harm. Research identified that hospitals with positive safety cultures work collaboratively to reduce errors. Strategies that identify gaps in hospital's safety culture within the pediatric milieu have not been initiated. This study addressed this gap from an interprofessional perspective. Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study used data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's 2016 Hospital Patient Safety Culture survey measuring 12 safety culture dimensions for registered nurses (RNs), physician assistants/nurse practitioners (PAs/NPs), physicians (MDs), and administrators/managers (n = 6682) in the United States that were employed in 287 (42%) pediatric hospitals or specialty units. Results: Findings indicated that in the United States, the overall safety culture had low levels of agreement. Pairings between pediatric RNs, PAs/NPs, andMDs had similar levels of agreement for all dimensions but the perceptions of these three practitioners differed when compared with pediatric administrators/managers in nine of the 12 dimensions. The perceptions of pediatric RNs and MDs differed in six of the 12 dimensions, with MDs indicating higher levels of agreement. All four professional groups rated teamwork within hospital units with the highest level of agreement (mean, 4.14), with hospital handoffs and transitions rated the lowest (mean, 2.64). All four professional groups found punitive cultures (mean, 2.71) throughout the pediatric specialty. Conclusions: Variations regarding pediatric professional's perception of safety culture exist within U.S. hospitals. Effective and creative management will support cultures that prevents harm and improves the overall safety of children's care with initiatives that are dedicated to excellence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E288-E298
JournalJournal of Patient Safety
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Adverse events
  • Children's healthcare
  • High reliability organizations
  • Human factors
  • Interprofessional collaboration
  • Medical errors
  • Organizational culture
  • Patient safety
  • Pediatrics
  • Safety culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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