Original Research

Patient safety culture in a district hospital in South Africa: An issue of quality

Lorraine M. Mayeng, Jacqueline E. Wolvaardt
Curationis | Vol 38, No 1 | a1518 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v38i1.1518 | © 2015 Lorraine M. Mayeng, Jacqueline E. Wolvaardt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 April 2015 | Published: 05 November 2015

About the author(s)

Lorraine M. Mayeng, National District Hospital, Bloemfontein, South Africa and School of Health Systems and Public Health, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Jacqueline E. Wolvaardt, School of Health Systems and Public Health, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Background: The Nursing Act 33 of 2005 holds nurse practitioners responsible for all acts and omissions in the delivery of quality patient care. But quality patient care is influenced by a number of factors beyond the control of nurse practitioners. Patient safety culture is one such factor and is seldom explored in hospitals in developing countries. This article describes the patient safety culture of a district hospital in South Africa.

Objectives: The study identified and analysed the factors that influence the patient safety culture by using the Manchester Patient Safety Framework at the National District Hospital, Bloemfontein, Free State Province.

Method: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted and included the total population of permanent staff; community service health professionals; temporarily employed health professionals and volunteers. The standard Manchester Patient Safety Framework questionnaire was distributed with a response rate of 61%.

Results: Less than half of the respondents (42.4%; n = 61) graded their units as acceptable. Several quality dimensions were statistically significant for the employment profile: overall commitment to quality (p = 0.001); investigating patient incidents (p = 0.031); organisational learning following incidents (p < 0.001); communication around safety issues (p = 0.001); and team working around safety issues (p = 0.005). These same quality dimensions were also statistically significant for the professional profiles. Medical doctors had negative perceptions of all the safety dimensions.

Conclusion: The research measured and described patient safety culture (PSC) amongst the staff at the National District Hospital (NDH). This research has identified the perceived inadequacies with PSC and gives nurse managers a clear mandate to implement change to ensure a PSC that fosters quality patient care.


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