Safety climate and its association with office type and team involvement in primary care

Gehring, Katrin; Schwappach, David L. B.; Battaglia, Markus; Buff, Roman; Huber, Felix; Sauter, Peter; Wieser, Markus (2013). Safety climate and its association with office type and team involvement in primary care. International journal for quality in health care, 25(4), pp. 394-402. Oxford University Press 10.1093/intqhc/mzt036

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To assess differences in safety climate perceptions between occupational groups and types of office organization in primary care.


Primary care physicians and nurses working in outpatient offices were surveyed about safety climate. Explorative factor analysis was performed to determine the factorial structure. Differences in mean climate scores between staff groups and types of office were tested. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine predictors for a 'favorable' safety climate.


630 individuals returned the survey (response rate, 50%). Differences between occupational groups were observed in the means of the 'team-based error prevention'-scale (physician 4.0 vs. nurse 3.8, P < 0.001). Medical centers scored higher compared with single-handed offices and joint practices on the 'team-based error prevention'-scale (4.3 vs. 3.8 vs. 3.9, P < 0.001) but less favorable on the 'rules and risks'-scale (3.5 vs. 3.9 vs. 3.7, P < 0.001). Characteristics on the individual and office level predicted favorable 'team-based error prevention'-scores. Physicians (OR = 0.4, P = 0.01) and less experienced staff (OR 0.52, P = 0.04) were less likely to provide favorable scores. Individuals working at medical centers were more likely to provide positive scores compared with single-handed offices (OR 3.33, P = 0.001). The largest positive effect was associated with at least monthly team meetings (OR 6.2, P < 0.001) and participation in quality circles (OR 4.49, P < 0.001).


Results indicate that frequent quality circle participation and team meetings involving all team members are effective ways to strengthen safety climate in terms of team-based strategies and activities in error prevention.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Schwappach, David, Battaglia, Markus


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Oxford University Press




Beatrice Minder Wyssmann

Date Deposited:

19 Feb 2014 14:02

Last Modified:

07 Feb 2023 16:24

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

medical errors patient safety primary care safety climate




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