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Air-Medical Providers Rank First in Study Assessing Perceptions of Safety Culture

 

 

 

A MedEvac Foundation-funded survey study shows that air-medical emergency medical services (EMS) agencies scored highest nearly across the board in perceived workplace safety culture when compared to other types of EMS agencies.

The researchers assessed safety attitudes of first responder paramedics, EMTs, physicians and nurses in six domains – safety climate, teamwork, stress recognition, perceptions of management, job satisfaction and working conditions. Air-medical-only agencies scored the highest in all but one category. Of those domains, perceptions of safety climate, as well as teamwork, were the highest among air-medical-only agencies, followed by combined air-ground organizations.

"This study sheds much-needed light on how widely safety culture varies from agency to agency while also pinpointing potential domains of concern for patient and provider," says the study’s lead author, P. Daniel Patterson, Ph.D., EMT-B, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

The authors made the tool used to characterize safety culture, the EMS Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (EMS-SAQ), available for any EMS agency to assess their own organization, and compare results to the benchmark scores found in this study. The survey tool and full results from this study are published in the October 2010 Prehospital Emergency Care.

For details regarding the EMS Safety Culture study or other MedEvac Foundation research and education programs, see www.medevacfoundation.org or contact abullington@medevacfoundation.org

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