AIM The aim of this audit was to gauge the opinion of pharmacy staff on patient safety by using a standardised survey produced by the American Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)1,2 and to analyse the results of the survey in order to identify any significant findings. In addition, to share the results of the survey with managers and staff within the department and develop an action plan to improve patient safety based on the findings.
Method The survey was adapted slightly to make it relevant for pharmacy staff working in a British hospital.
An introductory email was sent to all staff one week before the survey was distributed. A paper copy of the survey, a covering letter and self-addressed envelope was distributed to all pharmacy members of staff. The letter provided clear instructions and assurance that responses would be kept confidential. A labelled box was placed in the dispensary to receive the completed surveys.
A reminder email was sent two days before the closure date.
The surveys returned were analysed using the SNAP computer programme.
The responses to each question were analysed and a report was produced to display the response to each question as a raw number as well as a percentage score.
Questions were then grouped into themes and the proportion of positive, negative or neutral responses were identified.
Reponses were filtered to identify whether there were any significant differences in opinion between staff groups.
Results 75 surveys were distributed and 56 surveys returned (75% response rate). 73% of staff rated overall patient safety within the pharmacy department as good or very good. Many positive aspects of the department were identified by the survey, such as the way mistakes are handled and team work, however the results show that the working environment was the lowest scoring theme. Pharmacists and technicians had different opinions in some of the themes, e.g. induction/training. A high proportion of new staff who participated in the survey were unsure of certain procedures within the pharmacy department and therefore could not provide an accurate answer to some of the questions.
Conclusion The excellent response rate indicates that patient safety is an important issue for pharmacy staff. Staff members were keen to express their opinions and highlight areas for improvement. Undertaking this survey has given the pharmacy a fantastic opportunity to continue to improve patient safety by changing systems of work based on real opinions of staff.
We plan to repeat this survey on a regular basis to ensure high standards are maintained and that all staff remain focussed on patient safety.
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