Nonteaching hospitals think they're better at teamwork, handoffs

Nonteaching hospitals on average scored higher than academic medical centers for teamwork and patient handoffs, according to the latest patient safety survey from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Sixty percent of nonteaching hospital respondents said they support each other, treat each other with respect and work well together as a team, compared to 55 percent at teaching hospitals, according to the "Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture 2012 User Comparative Database Report," based on data from 1,128 hospitals and more than 500,000 respondents.

For handoffs and transitions, 47 percent of nonteaching hospital staff gave positive responses to whether important patient care information was appropriately transferred across hospital units and during shift changes, 5 percentage points higher than teaching hospitals--a statistically significant difference, according to the AHRQ.

Overall, nonteaching hospitals expressed approval with their current patient safety efforts, scoring themselves up to 2 percentage points higher on all patient safety composites. Meanwhile, teaching hospitals rose up to 1 percentage point on only half of the composites and dropped 1 percentage point for supervisor/manager expectations and actions promoting patient safety, according to the survey.

The AHRQ data also highlighted major areas for hospital improvement, which include utilizing organizational learning so mistakes lead to positive changes, as well as enhancing management support for patient safety to make it a top priority.

For more information:
- here's the AHRQ website