Patients’ safety culture indicates the extent to which the staffs prioritize the safety of patients. In medical centers, it is very important to pay attention to the patients’safety. Hence, the patients’safety culture should be examined and improved. One of the factors which lead to the improved patients’ safety culture is structural empowerment. Structural empowerment refers to adjusting workplace structures by managers and facilitating the staffs’ access to organizational facilities. In other words, structural empowerment refers to the staffs’ access to four environmental factors (i.e., opportunity, information, support, and resources) in the organization. The objective of the present study was to investigate the relationship between the dimensions of structural empowerment and patients’ safety culture.
The current study was descriptive-correlational research method, and the population included all staffs (i.e., 275 individuals) in the nursing department of a public hospital in Ahvaz. The research sample included 221 staffs who were selected through stratified random sampling. The data were collected through standardized tools, including Effective Working Conditions (the second version), and Patients’ Safety Culture in Hospitals questionnaires. The reliability of the questionnaires was examined through Cronbach’s alpha. Pearson correlation coefficient, multiple regression analysis (simultaneous method) and one-way analysis of variance were used to analyze the data through SPSS software, version 16.
The dimensions of opportunity, support and resources have a positive and significant relationship with the patients’ safety culture. However, the information dimension is not significantly related to the patients’ safety culture. The results of multiple regression analysis showed that the dimensions of structural empowerment predict 59% of the variance of the patients’ safety culture, and from among all dimensions of structural empowerment, opportunity and information in the model do not have a significant effect on the patients’ safety culture. In addition, support and resources are the most important predictors of the criterion variables. The results of one-way analysis of variance showed that the score of safety culture among the midwives has the highest value, and the lowest value is attributed to the sitters. In other words, midwives pay more attention to the safety of patients and patients’ safety culture.
Structural empowerment is one of the factors affecting patients’ safety culture which increases patients’ safety. Focusing on structural empowerment improves patients’ safety culture because when the staffs are structurally empowered, their accuracy and performance would improve, and they would provide more safe services to the patients. Therefore, hospital managers are advised to pay attention to the issue of structural empowerment in order to strengthen the patients’ safety culture, and to provide the necessary training and equipment to improve the structural empowerment of their staffs, especially nurses.
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