Journal article

When Illegitimate Tasks Threaten Patient Safety Culture: A Cross-Sectional Survey in a Tertiary Hospital


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  • 2023
Published in:
  • International Journal of Public Health. - Lausanne : Frontiers Media SA. - 2023, vol. 68, p. 1-11
English Objectives: The current study investigates the prevalence of illegitimate tasks in a hospital setting and their association with patient safety culture outcomes, which has not been previously investigated.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey in a tertiary referral hospital. Patient safety culture outcomes were measured using the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture questionnaire; the primary outcome measures were a low safety rating for the respondent’s unit and whether the respondent had completed one or more safety event reports in the last 12 months. Analyses were adjusted for hospital department and staff member characteristics relating to work and health.

Results: A total of 2,276 respondents answered the survey (participation rate: 35.0%). Overall, 26.2% of respondents perceived illegitimate tasks to occur frequently, 8.1% reported a low level of safety in their unit, and 60.3% reported having completed one or more safety event reports. In multivariable analyses, perception of a higher frequency of illegitimate tasks was associated with a higher risk of reporting a low safety rating and with a higher chance of having completed event reports.

Conclusion: The prevalence of perceived illegitimate tasks was rather high. A programme aiming to reduce illegitimate tasks could provide support for a causal effect of these tasks on safety culture outcomes.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Master en médecine
  • English
Pathology, clinical medicine
Open access status
Persistent URL

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