Increasingly, healthcare organizations are becoming aware of the importance of transforming organizational culture in order to improve patient safety. Growing interest in safety culture has been accompanied by the need for assessment tools focused on the cultural aspects of patient safety improvement efforts. This paper discusses the use of safety culture assessment as a tool for improving patient safety. It describes the characteristics of culture assessment tools presently available and discusses their current and potential uses, including brief examples from healthcare organizations that have undertaken such assessments. The paper also highlights critical processes that healthcare organizations need to consider when deciding to use these tools.
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