NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 19, 2013--
Maximizing patient safety is the top priority for hospital C-Suite
executives and Risk Managers in the United States – but, “lack of
teamwork, negative culture and poor communication” will present barriers
to patient safety in the future – according to a new survey commissioned
by American International Group, Inc. (AIG) in consultation with patient
safety expert, Dr. Marty Makary, MD, MPH.
The results revealed a tension between what hospital leaders perceive as
their number one priority in 2013, patient safety (64% C-Suite and 62%
risk managers), and their number one threat, failing to maximize
financial sustainability (60% C-Suite and 62% Risk Managers). While
nearly all respondents (96% of C-Suite and Risk Managers) say their
hospital has a “culture of patient safety,” one-third (33% of C-suite
and 37% of Risk Managers) acknowledge that their hospital needs to
undergo major changes to maintain that culture in the future.
“This study is designed to better understand what drives patient safety,
the barriers our healthcare system must overcome to achieve it, and what
can be done to help keep hospitals safer over the next three to five
years,” said Russell Johnston, Casualty Product Line Executive, AIG U.S.
A majority of respondents said the largest barrier to patient safety is
lack of teamwork, negative culture and poor communication (42% C-Suite;
55% Risk Managers). The main communication and coordination problems
The perception that nurses fear retribution if they discuss patient
safety (26% C-Suite, 29% Risk Managers);
Documentation burdens (69% C-Suite, 60% Risk Managers);
The number of patient “handoffs” among hospital staff (56% C-Suite,
61% Risk Managers); and
The quality of coordination and communication between departments at
their hospitals (59% of C-Suite executives, 69% of Risk Managers).
Who “Owns” Patient Safety?
The study also revealed inconsistent perceptions of who is “responsible
for” patient safety and who “owns” it. Virtually all hospital executives
(98% of both C-Suite executives and Risk Managers) agree that “every
staff member in my hospital is responsible for patient safety.” But half
of both C-Suite executives and Risk Managers (52% and 51%, respectively)
believe that nurses “own” it. Interestingly, executives see nursing
staff turnover as one of the least influential items on overall hospital
risk, including patient safety, regardless of the fact that they place
the onus of patient safety on nurses.
Technology, Regulation, and Metrics
Further complicating the situation, the introduction of new technology,
regulation, metrics, and patient education aimed at helping patient
safety are sometimes perceived has having the opposite effect:
Three-quarters (75%) of C-Suite executives see reporting of quality
metrics as beneficial to safety, yet one in five (20%) sees negative
impacts on other areas of quality as a result of having to report
While most (84% of C-Suite executive and 88% of Risk Managers) agree
their hospital effectively uses technology to improve patient safety,
more than half (59% of C-Suite executive and 53% of Risk Managers) say
it takes clinical staff away from patient care.
One in four executives (23% of C-Suite executives and 24% of Risk
Managers) admit that their hospital is more focused on driving
publicly reported metrics rather than truly impacting patient safety.
Also, most hospital leaders agree the public does not understand how
to interpret publicly reported patient safety metrics (83% of C-Suite
executives and 89% of Risk Managers).
AIG’s commitment to prevention – from Loss Prevention consulting in
hospitals to Pre-Injury Consulting with workers’ compensation clients,
uses these and other data-driven insights to better understand and
ultimately improve healthcare outcomes for patients and hospitals.
“Given that nearly half of every dollar spent on healthcare costs is
related to a medical error, improvements in patient safety will provide
a quick return on investment,” said Emily Rhinehart, RN, MPH Vice
President and Division Manager for Healthcare Risk Consulting, AIG.
AIG insures over 2,000 hospitals worldwide, employs more than 250
full-time doctors and nurses, and provides workers’ compensation
insurance in the United States, through employers, to nearly 10 million
“When insurers work to understand and improve overall healthcare
outcomes, it results in patients who: experience less pain, quicker
recovery time, and fewer medical complications; return to their family
and to work sooner; and are prescribed the right amount and type of
medication, for the right amount of time,” said AIG Casualty’s Russell
Johnston. ”Prevention doesn’t cost. It pays.”
Full results of the survey can be found at www.aig.com/us/prevention.
About the Survey
This survey was conducted between November 13 and December 20, 2012
among 250 hospital C-Suite executives and 100 Risk Managers in hospitals
across the U.S. The survey consisted of a 15-minute, computer-assisted
telephone survey comprised of core questions measuring attitudes and
behaviors related to patient safety and hospital risk. The study then
further looked at the complexities of patient safety exploring internal
and external challenges with half of the respondents, and key influences
and transparency with the other half.
In this study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not
vary, plus or minus, by five percentage points from the results that
would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in
the universe represented by the sample.
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading international
insurance organization serving customers in more than 130 countries. AIG
companies serve commercial, institutional, and individual customers
through one of the most extensive worldwide property-casualty networks
of any insurer. In addition, AIG companies are leading providers of life
insurance and retirement services in the United States. AIG common stock
is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Additional information about AIG can be found at www.aig.com
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AIG is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty, life and
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Group, Inc. For additional information, please visit our website at www.aig.com.
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affiliates of American International Group, Inc. Products or services
may not be available in all countries, and coverage is subject to actual
policy language. Non-insurance products and services may be provided by
independent third parties. Certain property-casualty coverages may be
provided by a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers do not
generally participate in state guaranty funds, and insureds are
therefore not protected by such funds.
Matt Gallagher, 212-458-3247