An essential element of effective medical practice management is having a shared set of beliefs among members regarding patient safety climate. Recognizing the need for improving patient safety, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality began a series of surveys to assess medical practice member's attitudes and beliefs on patient safety climate. The aim of the study was to examine owners and clinicians perceptions of their medical practice patient's safety climate. Dr. Eric Ford, professor in the department of Health Care Organization and Policy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, collaborated with other researchers in this study.

Managers with ownership responsibility, clinicians with ownership responsibility, and staff clinicians have different perceptions of the practice patient safety climate. In particular, managers with ownership responsibility have more positive perceptions of the patient safety climate, as compared with non-owners. Clinicians with ownership responsibility had less favorable views than managers in a similar role. Finally, staff clinicians have the most negative perceptions of patient safety climate as compared with individuals in the ownership positions.

The authors concluded that there is a statistically significant lack of agreement among medical office team members depending on their backgrounds and roles. Increasing the communication among organizational members about their practice's patient safety climate is a principal aim whether improvements in care quality are to be achieved.

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