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Patient -centered care, work climates, and patient safety: An exploratory study

Cheryl Rathert, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


In 2000 the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a report that indicated that as many as 98,000 Americans die each year as a result of preventable adverse medical events, or medical errors. The IOM challenged health care to reduce these deaths by 50% in five years. Although many case studies have been done to learn the causes of medical errors, little empirical research has been conducted, little theory has been developed, and the research has failed to find consistent measures to use. The present study attempted to fill some of these gaps. A customer service climate-customer satisfaction model used in organization studies was used as a framework. Hospitals with work climates for patient-centered care should provide better outcomes for patients, including patient safety, as well as better outcomes for health care workers. The study used a grounded theory approach to obtain qualitative information from doctors, nurses, patients, and family members. Following the qualitative study, a field study was conducted with health care providers and patients. The study found support for the use of patient perceptions as a measure of patient safety. Patient safety mediated the significant relationship between patient-centered care and patient satisfaction. In addition, the work climate for patient-centered care was significantly related to employee satisfaction. Implications for theory and practice suggest that work environments that are more patient-centered are better for both patient and employee outcomes. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, General|Health Sciences, General|Health Sciences, Health Care Management

Recommended Citation

Rathert, Cheryl, "Patient -centered care, work climates, and patient safety: An exploratory study" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3186874.