To read this content please select one of the options below:

Bricks-and-mortar and patient safety culture

Susan Brandis (Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia) (Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia) (Department of Research, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service, Southport, Australia)
Stephanie Schleimer (Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)
John Rice (Business School, University of New England, Armadale, Australia)

Journal of Health Organization and Management

ISSN: 1477-7266

Article publication date: 19 June 2017




Building a new hospital requires a major investment in capital infrastructure. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of bricks-and-mortar on patient safety culture before and two years after the move of a large tertiary hospital to a greenfield site. The difference in patient safety perceptions between clinical and non-clinical staff is also explored.


This research uses data collected from the same workforce across two time periods (2013 and 2015) in a large Australian healthcare service. Validated surveys of patient safety culture (n=306 and 246) were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.


Using two-way analysis of variance, the authors found that perceived patient safety culture remains unchanged for staff despite a major relocation and upgrade of services and different perceptions of patient safety culture between staff groups remains the same throughout change.

Practical implications

A dramatic change in physical context, such as moving an entire hospital, made no measurable impact on perceived patient safety culture by major groups of staff. Improving patient safety culture requires more than investment in buildings and infrastructure. Understanding differences in professional perspectives of patient safety culture may inform organisational management approaches, and enhance the targeting of specific strategies.


The authors believe this to be the first empirically based paper that investigates the impact of a large investment into hospital capital and a subsequent relocation of services on clinical and non-clinical staff perceptions of patient safety culture.



This research is a component of the Culture, Transformation and Performance project funded by Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service; and Griffith University, Queensland Australia.


Brandis, S., Schleimer, S. and Rice, J. (2017), "Bricks-and-mortar and patient safety culture", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 459-470.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles