gms | German Medical Science

19. Deutscher Kongress für Versorgungsforschung

Deutsches Netzwerk Versorgungsforschung e. V.

30.09. - 01.10.2020, digital

Safety performance in acute medical care – the nurses’ perspective

Meeting Abstract

  • Lina Heier - Institut für Patientensicherheit, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Bonn, Deutschland
  • Donia Riouchi - Institut für Patientensicherheit, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Bonn, Deutschland
  • Judith Hammerschmidt - Institut für Patientensicherheit, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Bonn, Deutschland
  • Nikoloz Gambashidze - Institut für Patientensicherheit, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Bonn, Deutschland
  • Nicole Ernstmann - Institut für Patientensicherheit, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Bonn, Deutschland; Forschungsstelle für Gesundheitskommunikation und Versorgungsforschung, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Bonn

19. Deutscher Kongress für Versorgungsforschung (DKVF). sine loco [digital], 30.09.-01.10.2020. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2020. Doc20dkvf071

doi: 10.3205/20dkvf071, urn:nbn:de:0183-20dkvf0712

Published: September 25, 2020

© 2020 Heier et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Background and current state of (inter)national research: Patient safety is an essential part of high-quality health care. Nurses take a central role in the field of patient safety. They need specific safety performance skills in order to be able to recognize patient safety incidents, work in an interprofessional team and learn from errors. In general, safety performance consists of safety compliance and safety participation. The term safety compliance is used to describe the core activities that need to be carried out by individuals to maintain workplace safety. The term safety participation is used to describe behaviours which do help to develop an environment that supports safety. Unfortunately, there is still a gap in research about the safety performance of nursing professionals, especially how they experience and perceive their performance in acute care.

Research questions and objectives: The aim is to explore the perceptions regarding safety performance of nursing professionals, and to identify aspects which influence the safety performance at the bedside.

Methods or hypothesis: This study was conducted by using a qualitative content analysis based on partially structured interview guidance. The data collection process included 23 semi-structured, face to face interviews with nursing professionals, all working in acute medical care. The interviews were audio recorded by three researchers between August 2019 and February 2020 and were fully transcribed for analysing.

Results: 15 registered nurses, four nursing students and four pedagogical personnel of three hospitals and two nursing schools in Germany participated in this project. 44% were younger than 31 years old, 76% are female and eight registered nurses and one social pedagogue had a supervisor function. Data analysis is work in progress. Categories will be identified, which present the different aspects of safety performance, how healthcare professionals in nursing experience the performance at the bedside, which barriers occur while working in acute care and how to overcome them. Sub categories will be developed deductively, based on the human factors model in patient safety.

Discussion: The aspects which influence the safety performance can be classified in the concept of human factors, the interaction between organisation, team, technology and individual. This underlines once again the complexity of safety performance and patient safety and the fact that a human factors approach is one key to safer healthcare.

Practical implications: This study contributes to a better understanding of the complexity of nursing professionals’ safety performance in acute medical care. These findings can act as a foundation for the development of training programmes to improve patient safety with interprofessional nursing teams.