AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CRITICAL CARE FINDS AACN’s WORK ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT SURVEY EFFECTIVE AND RELIABLE
A new research supports use of American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’s Work Environment Assessment Survey as an organizational measure.
A study in the American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC) reveals the results of a two-phase administration of the tool to 2,621 patient-care employees at Boston Children’s Hospital. The findings provide new insights about the tool’s reliability and validity across professional staff categories and patient care areas to support its use as an organizational measure.
Researchers share their findings in “Interprofessional Use and Validation of the AACN Healthy Work Environment Assessment Tool,” published in AJCC’s September 2018 issue.
The online survey created as a resource for critical care nurses in assessing the health of the work environment is an effective and reliable tool for use by interprofessional patient care teams throughout hospitals and other healthcare organizations.
The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) developed the online assessment tool in 2009 as a companion to “AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Excellence.” The AACN Healthy Work Environment (HWE) Assessment Tool (HWEAT) became a trusted resource to measure baseline status and subsequent progress of a hospital unit’s journey to implement the HWE standards. The 18-question survey is designed to help organizations or departments identify areas for improvement, while not diagnosing specific challenges.
“Although AACN’s assessment tool has been used primarily among acute and critical care nurses, our findings support consideration of wider use in multiple healthcare settings,” said principal investigator Jean Anne Connor, PhD, RN, CPNP, director of nursing research, cardiovascular and critical care patient services at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Clinical leaders understand that to safeguard the quality of patient care, attention must be focused on the performance of healthcare teams.”
The hospital has used the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (H-SOPS) since 2010 assessing how employees see their work environment in relation to patient safety. It’s also administered the AACN HWEAT to interprofessional staff in critical care and cardiovascular programs annually since 2010 and recently expanded it to an enterprise-wide assessment.
Erudite Nursing Institute™ supports the reliability of AACN’s Work Environment Assessment Survey as an organizational measure for use by interprofessional patient care teams determining the health of work environment concerning patient safety.