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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture

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Webinar Replay Available

A full replay from the Webinar on Using the Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture is available.

In response to medical offices interested in a survey that focuses on patient safety culture in their offices, AHRQ sponsored the development of the Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture. This survey is designed specifically for outpatient medical office providers and staff and asks for their opinions about the culture of patient safety and health care quality in their medical offices.

The survey was designed for medical offices with at least three providers (physicians, either M.D. or D.O.; physician assistants; nurse practitioners; and other providers licensed to diagnose medical problems, treat patients, and prescribe medications). Survey administration in solo practitioner or two-provider offices is not recommended because it would not be possible to maintain the confidential nature of individual responses. In small offices, rather than administering the survey, it can be used as a tool to initiate open dialog or discussion about patient safety and quality issues among providers and staff.

Medical Office Survey Toolkit | Comparative Database | Additional Resources | Technical Assistance

Medical Office Survey Toolkit

Frequently Asked Questions

Survey Form

Note: If your medical office intends to submit data to the Medical Office Comparative Database, an office-level information form should be completed for every medical office. Select to access the Medical Office Information Form.

Survey Items and Dimensions

Survey User's Guide

The User's Guide provides a general overview of the issues and major decisions involved in conducting a survey and reporting the results. The Guide includes information on getting started, selecting a sample, determining data collection methods, establishing data collection procedures, conducting a Web-based survey, and preparing and analyzing data, and producing reports.

Medical Office Survey Feedback Report Template

Note: Microsoft® Word® Versions can be viewed with the free Word® Viewer.   PowerPoint® files can be accessed using a free PowerPoint® Viewer. Select for Plugin Software Help.

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Comparative Database

Many medical offices using the AHRQ Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture have expressed interest in comparing their results to other medical offices. In response, AHRQ has established the Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture Comparative Database. This database is a central repository for survey data from medical offices that have administered the AHRQ patient safety culture survey instrument.

  • Submission Information—For medical offices interested in submitting their medical office patient safety culture survey data.

    Note: There is no data submission for the Medical Office Database in September/October 2012. AHRQ is in the process of reestablishing the timeframe and frequency for future periods for submission of data and plans to inform users/those interested in submitting data once those dates have been determined.

  • 2012 Medical Office User Comparative Database Report (Part 1, PDF File, 2.7 MB; Part 2, PDF File, 1.7 MB; Plugin Software Help)—The first edition of the AHRQ Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture User Comparative Database Report presents data from 23,679 staff within 934 U.S. medical offices. The full report contains detailed comparative data for various medical office characteristics (number of providers, specialty, ownership, and region) and staff position.
  • 2010 Preliminary Comparative Results (PDF file, 370 KB; Plugin Software Help)
    Comparative results are provided for the items and patient safety culture dimensions on the AHRQ Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture to allow medical offices to compare their survey results against the results from 470 medical offices.

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Additional Resources

Medical Office Patient Safety Improvement Resources: A Resource List for Users of the AHRQ Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture

This document contains references to Web sites that provide practical resources medical offices can use to implement changes to improve patient safety culture and patient safety. These resources are not a complete and exhaustive list, but are provided to give initial guidance to medical offices looking for information about patient safety initiatives. This document will be updated periodically.

Data Entry and Analysis Tool

  • This data entry and analysis tool works with Microsoft® Excel® and makes it easy to input your individual-level data from the survey. The tool then automatically creates tables and graphs to display your survey results.
  • To request the tool, send an E-mail to:

Using the Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture (Webinar)

A conference call conducted on April 29, 2011, provides users with an overview of the development and use of the survey. In addition, the Oregon Practice-based Research Network shares lessons learned. Results from the 2010 Preliminary Comparative Results are discussed as well as new analyses of patient safety culture perceptions between physicians and other medical office staff, and how medical office characteristics like size, ownership, specialty, and Health Information Technology (Health IT) implementation affect the survey results.

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Technical Assistance

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Current as of July 2012

Internet Citation:

Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture. July 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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