Annual Industry Survey: Working on Communication

To improve the culture of safety, facilities need to work most on communication openness, handoffs and tran­sitions, and feedback and communication about errors.

Asked about the top areas of improvement needed to meet patient safety culture program goals, respondents to the 2019 Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare Industry Outlook Survey said that communication openness was most in need of improvement (47%). Other areas of concern were hospital handoffs and transitions (39%) and feedback and communication about errors (38%).

Other areas of improvement cited were:

  • Teamwork across units. Forty-one percent of respondents said teamwork across units was another area that needs to improve to help the organization meet its patient safety culture program goals.
  • Hospital handoffs and transitions. Another communication-related issue, hospital handoffs and transitions, was listed third-most by respondents with 39%.

Other choices listed include:

  • Feedback and communication about errors (38%)
  • Organiza­tional learning/continuous improvement (35%)
  • Staffing (32%)
  • Nonpunitive response to error (16%)
  • Overall perceptions of safety (16%)
  • Hos­pital management support for patient safety (15%)
  • Frequency of events reported (14%)
  • Supervisor/management expectations (11%)
  • Teamwork within units (6%)


The survey report analyzes this and other patient safety and quality issues that concern healthcare organizations. Visit here to download the full report.