OBJECTIVES: This study sought to identify risk factors and protective factors in hospital-based mental health settings in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), with the goal of informing interventions to improve care of persons with serious mental illness.
METHODS: Twenty key informants from a stratified sample of 7 VHA inpatient psychiatric units were interviewed to gain their insights on causes of patient safety events and the factors that constrain or facilitate patient safety efforts.
RESULTS: Respondents identified threats to patient safety at the system-, provider-, and patient-levels. Protective factors that, when in place, made patient safety events less likely to occur included: promoting a culture of safety; advocating for patient-centeredness; and engaging administrators and organizational leadership to champion these changes.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings highlight the impact of systems-level policies and procedures on safety in inpatient mental health care. Engaging all stakeholders, including patients, in patient safety efforts and establishing a culture of safety will help improve the quality of inpatient psychiatric care. Successful implementation of changes require the knowledge of local experts most closely involved in patient care, as well as support and buy-in from organizational leadership.
Recommended CitationTrue, Gala; Frasso, Rosemary; Cullen, Sara W.; Hermann, Richard C.; and Marcus, Steven C., "Adverse events in veterans affairs inpatient psychiatric units: Staff perspectives on contributing and protective factors." (2017). College of Population Health Faculty Papers. Paper 96.
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