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Implementation of patient safety initiatives in US hospitals

Kathleen L. McFadden (Department of Operations Management and Information Systems, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA)
Gregory N. Stock (Department of Operations Management and Information Systems, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA)
Charles R. Gowen III (Department of Management, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 March 2006

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the use of patient safety initiatives (PSIs) at the US hospitals. These PSIs include such approaches as open discussion of errors, education and training, and system redesign. In particular, the paper seeks to examine factors that influence the implementation of PSIs as well as the benefits realized from their implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the TQM and medical safety literatures to develop a conceptual framework for improving patient safety. Extensive survey data were gathered from 252 hospitals throughout the US to test McFadden et al.'s model of the factors influencing successful implementation of PSIs.

Findings

Certain barriers (lack of top management support, lack of resources, lack of incentives and lack of knowledge) significantly impeded implementation while other factors (perceived importance of PSIs) facilitated implementation. It was also found that implementation of PSIs was associated with benefits to the hospital in areas such as medical error reduction, cost reduction, and patient satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The use of a single respondent represents a possible limitation. Future research will explore organizational culture and its relationship to patient safety.

Practical implications

The findings provide direction for implementing more effective PSIs at hospitals.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature on patient safety and medical errors by testing specific mechanisms that are associated with successful implementation of PSIs.

Keywords

Citation

McFadden, K.L., Stock, G.N. and Gowen, C.R. (2006), "Implementation of patient safety initiatives in US hospitals", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 326-347. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570610651052

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited