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[On the safe side? Safety culture and patient safety in German anesthesiology clinics-A nationwide survey on the status quo].

Der Anaesthesist 2022 Februrary 19
BACKGROUND: A good safety culture may be predominantly defined by an open and unsanctioned communication about critical and erroneous courses. In an effort to improve patient safety various instruments, such as the critical incident reporting system (CIRS) or in terms of patient handover, the use of the situation, background, assessment, recommendation (SBAR) system patient handover, have been developed and are recommended by the German Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (DGAI). This study aimed at identifying how anesthesiologists perceive the safety culture in their current department and whether CIRS or SBAR are already established or not.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: All registered members of the DGAI and the Professional Association of German Anaesthesiologists (BDA, n = 19,042) were invited to participate in an online survey on patient safety. In this survey there was a focus on the perceived safety culture and the experience with CIRS and SBAR.

RESULTS: Of the participants 76.6% (n = 1372) stated that their department of anesthesiology has a good safety culture, while in 23.4% (n = 419) there was not. For the whole hospital the safety culture was only rated as being positive by 54.3% (n = 949) of the respondents. An open communication about critical and erroneous courses occurred in 76.5% (n = 1375) according to the participants, 23.0% (n = 408) had the impression that in the case of errors the respective person was being denounced. In one third of the participants' departments (n = 630, 36.6%) there were no morbidity and mortality conferences. The acronym CIRS was familiar to 98.9% (n = 1801) of the participants, 84.8% (n = 1544) of the surveyed anesthesiologists reported that CIRS was established in their departments. Critical incidents have been reported via CIRS by 54.4% (n = 839) of the respondents. Only 29.4% (n = 462) of the participants received regular feedback on CIRS reports. The acronym SBAR as a handover tool is unknown to the majority of the surveyed participants (n = 1181, 63.7%) and 86.1% (n = 1554) consider using an instrument in order to improve handover quality as possibly being beneficial.

CONCLUSION: Anesthesiologists rate the quality of the safety culture of their own anesthesiology department to be higher compared to their hospital in general. In some hospitals there is denouncement in cases of erroneous courses according to the respondents. In the patients' point of view morbidity and mortality conferences should be established more often. CIRS is known to almost every surveyed anesthetist but feedback on a regular basis is sparse. This contradicts the claims of the German Coalition for Patient Safety. The acronym SBAR is unknown to the majority of surveyed participants despite the recommendation of the DGAI to implement it. There is a wish for tools in order to enhance the quality of handovers.

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