What constitutes patient safety culture in Chinese hospitals?

Junya Zhu, Liping Li, Yuxia Li, Meiyu Shi, Haiying Lu, Deborah W. Garnick, Saul N. Weingart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To develop a patient safety culture instrument for use in Chinese hospitals, we assessed the appropriateness of existing safety culture questionnaires used in the USA and Japan for Chinese respondents and identified new items and domains suitable to Chinese hospitals. Design: Focus group study. Setting and participants: Twenty-four physicians, nurses and other health-care workers from 11 hospitals in three Chinese cities. Methods: Three focus groups were conducted in 2010 to elicit information from hospital workers about their perceptions of the appropriateness and importance of each of 97 questionnaire items, derived from a literature review and an expert panel, characterizing hospital safety culture. Results: Participants understood the concepts of patient safety and safety culture and identified features associated with safe care. They judged that numerous questions from existing surveys were inappropriate, including 39 items that were dropped because they were judged unimportant, semantically redundant, confusing, ambiguous or inapplicable in Chinese settings. Participants endorsed eight new items and three additional dimensions addressing staff training, mentoring of new hires, compliance with rules and procedures, equipment availability and leadership walk-rounds they judged appropriate to assessing safety culture in Chinese hospitals. This process resulted in a 66-item instrument for testing in cognitive interviews, the next stage of survey development. Conclusions: Focus group participants provided important insights into the refinement of existing items and the construction of new items for measuring patient safety culture in Chinese hospitals. This is a necessary first step in producing a culturally appropriate instrument applicable to specific local contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbermzs010
Pages (from-to)250-257
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Focus groups
  • Hospital
  • Patient safety
  • Quality culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'What constitutes patient safety culture in Chinese hospitals?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this