Results from a study of nephrology nurses being presented later this week at the American Nephrology Nurses Association annual symposium in Florida has revealed an overall culture of patient safety and teamwork in the dialysis clinic, but there is room for improvement to help keep dialysis patients— and providers —safe.

The comprehensive research project outlines research that ANNA says is the first of its kind to focus specifically on patient safety culture in all nephrology nurse practice settings. Results reveal everything from error reporting and staffing challenges to manager expectations and best practices.

ANNA study
Researchers surveyed almost 1,000 ANNA members using a survey composed of items from two Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) patient safety survey tools. The authors also compared their results to AHRQ data.

The overall rating of patient safety in nephrology nurse practice settings was favorable, with 26% of respondents ranking it ‘excellent’ and 51% ranking it ‘very good.’  The issues that received scores lower than AHRQ comparative data included handoffs, infection control, medication errors, communication, prioritization, staffing and workload, according to study results.

Some respondents described a rushed nature in their practice setting that has led to incomplete work, errors, and other challenges. The respondents cited long hours and staffing shortages as contributing factors, with only 61% of respondents saying their unit had sufficient staff to meet the workload.

Results from the study will be presented Monday, April 20, at the ANNA National Symposium in the session, “Patient safety culture in nephrology nursing practice settings: Current status and implications.”