Latest News on EMS Safety Culture
Go to www.emscultureofsafety.org to download the most recent draft of the national safety culture strategy. Read and then comment on the document using the comment link on the website www.emscultureofsafety.org/comment.
The EMSARN EMS Safety Culture Project
Annually, EMSARN will collect data on EMS Safety Culture using the EMS-SAQ tool. Participating agencies are located all over the U.S. Their participation is voluntary. We provide each agency with a detailed report that compares their results to findings from the sample cohort and benchmarking data published in PEC. We also provide agencies with a summary brief -- a document that can be easily shared with decision makers who do not have time to read the detailed report and only want to know the facts.
The specific aims of this project include:
- To examine trends in EMS safety culture over time.
- To provide benchmarking data for comparison purposes.
How We Keep EMS Agencies Informed of Their Agency's Safety Culture
|Dissemination of Safety Culture findings to EMS Agencies||Reports Issued||Summary Briefs Issued|
|2007 Study (published)||3||3|
|2008 Study (published)||62||62|
|2010 Cohort (published)||21||21|
If YOUR agency would like to participate in the annual safety culture survey research study, please contact Daniel Patterson, PhD, NREMT-P at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2008, the National EMS Advisory Council made a profound statement that EMS must create a culture of safety.
Safety culture is a concept that has its origins in nuclear plant disasters of the 1980s and aviation safety.(1) Many safety instruments have been developed.(2) Several have been adapted for use in the ICU, ambulatory care, in-hospital, longterm care, and other settings.
Safety culture refers to “the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behavior that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organization’s health and safety management.”(3) Safety culture is also informed by an organization’s leadership, stability, presence of safety equipment, safety policies and programs, and by a leadership commitment to safety.
Our team (Drs. Patterson, Huang, Fairbanks, and Wang) developed and tested one of the first safety culture surveys for EMS. We adapted the widely used Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ) for the EMS setting and labeled the tool: the EMS Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (EMS-SAQ).(4)
- Results from our first study published in the American Journal of Medical Quality.
- Abstract from our second study of 61 EMS agencies; now published in the Oct/Dec 2010 issue of Prehospital Emergency Care.
- Results from our third study, the 2010 cohort, now published in Prehospital Emergency Care.
Citations used for the EMS Safety Culture Project Summary:
- Cox S, Flin R. Safety culture: Philosopher's stone or man of straw? Work Stress. 1998;12(3):12.
- Colla JB, Bracken AC, Kinney LM, Weeks WB. Measuring patient safety climate: a review of surveys. Qual Saf Health Care. 2005;14(5):3.
- Health and Safety Commission, (HSC). Organizing for safety: Third report of the human factors study group of ACSNI. London 1993.
- Sexton JB, Helmreich RL, Neilands TB, et al. The Safety Attitudes Questionnaire: psychometric properties, benchmarking data, and emerging research. BMC Health Serv Res. 2006;6(44):10.