The Relationship Between Culture of Safety and Rate of Adverse Events in Long-Term Care Facilities

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Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the relationship of culture of safety dimensions and the rate of unanticipated care outcomes in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality framework of resident safety culture. Methods: Cross-sectional survey data were collected on 13 dimensions of culture of safety in five LTCFs from registered nurses, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), nursing assistants, administrators/managers, administrative support, and rehabilitation staff. Secondary data on falls in the five LTCFs from quarters 1 to 3 of 2014 were obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in February 2015. Spearman's ρ and the Generalized Estimating Equations using a log link (Poisson distribution) were used. Results: Communication and feedback about incidences reported the highest mean scores (M = 4.35, SD =0.71). Higher rate of falls was associated with a lower level of team work, lower degree of handoffs, and lower levels of organizational learning. The risk for falls increased as the number of residents per facility increased (rate ratio [RR] = 1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01-1.02) and as the number of LPN hours per resident increased (RR = 37.7, 95% CI = 18.5-76.50). Risk for long stay urinary tract infections increased as number of residents increased (RR =1.01, 95% CI =1.01-1.01). Increase in culture of safety score was associated with decrease in risk of falls, long stay urinary tract infections, and short stay ulcers. Conclusions: With the shortage of registered nurses in LTCFs and new reimbursement regulations, many LTCFs are hiring LPNs to have full staffing and save money. Licensed practical nurses may lack essential knowledge to decrease the rate of falls.



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