Patient Safety Self-Assessment Tool

Fairview Health Services
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


This is a checklist of practices known to promote safer care and reduce the risk of adverse events. Hospitals can use this tool to evaluate whether they have safe practices in place and to determine which safe practices they may need to implement or expand.



This organizational self-assessment tool was designed by Steven Meisel, PharmD, at Fairview Health Services using information from a report published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in Rockville, Maryland, USA. The tool can help staff members evaluate whether known safety practices are in place in their hospitals and to find areas for improvement.



  • Review each item on the assessment tool and estimate to what extent the safety practice is in place within the organization. Answer each item using the definitions from the key on the last page. It may be helpful to have people in several different disciplines perform the assessment (e.g., nurses, physicians, pharmacists, senior leaders) and then compare and discuss any differences in perceptions. (You may skip step 1 if you don’t desire these comparisons.)
  • Collect information on the actual extent to which each practice is in place. This may require review of patient records, direct observation of practices, and review of policies and procedures. Review and discuss any differences between perceptions and actual practice.
  • Measure the overall compliance with safety practices by counting the number of times an actual practice is identified as "A" (practice is completely present throughout hospital/ population) and dividing by the total number of applicable items. The goal should be to work toward 100 percent compliance, i.e., all applicable items answered as "A."
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