PURPOSE: To determine whether organizational culture is associated with preventability assessment of reported adverse events (AE) in intensive care units (ICU).
DESIGN: Blind review of time randomly distributed case notes written in the form of structured abstracts by the nurses who participated in recently implemented morbidity and mortality conferences from December 2006 to June 2010 in a 18-bed ICU in France. Ninety-five abstracts summarizing the discussions of 95 AE involving 95 patients were reviewed by two external blinded pairs (each comprised of one senior intensivist and one psychologist).
METHODS: A score for each organizational culture style was determined, with the highest scorer being considered the dominant style present in the abstract.
RESULTS: Reliability of the classification and quantification of culture traits between pairs was very good or good for 13 dimensions and moderate for two others. The two pairs deemed 32/95 and 43/95 of AE preventable (κ = 0.59). Concordance was very good (κ = 0.85) between the external pairs for evaluation of the dominant culture style. The Cochran-Armitage trend test indicated an increasing trend for change of the dominant organizational culture style over time: the team-satisfaction-oriented culture took a leading role (p = 0.02), while the people-security-oriented culture decreased dramatically (p
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated a strong relationship between preventability assessment of AE reported by caregivers and their organizational culture in the ICU.
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