Patient safety issues in intensive care units in Saudi Arabia. Health professional perspectives: a descriptive study

2017-03-02T04:27:24Z (GMT) by Al Malki, Adel Ali K
Statement of the problem: Critically ill patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are faced with the challenge of surviving in a high-risk area and rely on healthcare professionals to ensure their safety and provide complex care. One way of measuring safety attitudes in the ICU is through self-reporting questionnaires. Aim: To examine attitudes to patient safety in ICU from the perspective of healthcare professionals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Method: A descriptive cross-sectional design was employed. The survey instrument - Safety Attitude Questionnaire (SAQ-ICU version) – comprised items regarding attitudes to patient safety, rating of communication and collaboration with colleagues, as well demographic questions. Results: Sixty per cent (n= 144) of the healthcare professionals from two hospitals in Taif in KSA responded. Six safety domains were scored and showed that all participants had a negative attitude towards patient safety in the two ICUs, with one ICU scoring lower in all domains. Mean scores across domains ranged from 47.14 to 70.36 on a 100-point scale, with lowest scores for the ‘perceptions of management’ domain. Leaders and bedside nurses shared similar attitudes across domains. There was a significant difference in attitudes between respiratory therapists (RTs) and nurses (F (2, 131) = 4.18, p= 0.017); there were no other significant differences between groups. Whilst communication was mostly scored as adequate, physicians rated communication high with each other and with nurses (t= 4.35, p= 0.000). Conclusion: The findings indicate that all domains need further attention. Differences between the two ICUs indicate that hospital safety culture may be an important issue for exploration in further studies.