Revision to the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture™

Culture Change Is In The Air

In October 2019, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released a revised version of the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture after 15 years.

AHRQ Comparative Databases have included over 2 million survey respondents across the United States. Internationally, the survey has been used across 93 countries in 40 different languages!

calendar icon

What Changed on the Survey?


40 total questions

Questions have a “N/A” | “Do not know” response option

10 “Composites” (overall safety and teamwork across units dropped)

Extensive and clear options for role and medical domain

versus icon


51 total questions

Participants told to “skip” questions that don’t apply

12 “Composites” (aspects of safety culture)

Basic options of participant role and medical domain

Question Changes

Changes to HSOPS 1.0 questions reflected in HSOPS 2.0

Changes to HSOPS 1.0 questions reflected in HSOPS 2.0

Why Does It Matter To My Health System?

The Good

Shorter survey!

Response option for “N/A”

More clinical areas and role types

Increased clarity of questions

The Bad

Direct comparisons between 1.0 and 2.0 are not possible

1.0 benchmarks will no longer be updated after 2020

Comparative data from pilot study only includes 25 hospitals

The Unknown

AHRQ gives some guidance, but the best approach for transitioning between surveys is not yet clear

The organizational cost to re-orient leaders and staff to the new tool is unknown

What Do I Do Next?

number one

Define Transition Timeline Soon

Immediately review the implications and options your organization has for transitioning from HSOPS 1.0 to HSOPS 2.0. After 2020, new benchmarks will not be available for HSOPS 1.0, so it is strongly advised to make the transition within the next 24 months.

Number two

Define Transition Approach

The best approach for transitioning from HSOPS 1.0 to HSOPS 2.0 will vary depending on your system size and historical data quality. They primary options include:

  • Option 1: Administer HSOPS 2.0 for the next survey cycle
  • Option 2: Administer HSOPS 1.0 for a final time and then transition to HSOPS 2.0 twelve months later
  • Option 3: Conduct a simultaneous administration of HSOPS 1.0 and HSOPS 2.0
Number 3

Develop a Safety Culture Roadmap

Any new change brings an opportunity to do things better. Although HSOPS 1.0 enabled many organizations to become more aware of patient safety culture issues, most organizations failed to act on the information in a systematic way.

Develop a Multi-Year Roadmap Using SafeCulture

Transition from HSOPS 1.0 to 2.0.

We can help you develop a seamless plan.

“I recommend Beterra to anyone who wants to improve their patient safety. Our organization was working with the Florida Hospital Association, Hospital Engagement Network and we were introduced to Beterra and offered their services. The employees of Beterra were eager to help every step of the way and kept us informed on the progress of our patient safety survey. Once we completed the survey the Beterra team explained the results and went out of their way to make sure I understood so that I could present it to our Medical Staff and Board of Directors. I loved working with them and hope to work closer with them in the future. Thank you Beterra!”

Debi Seagroves, LHCRM
Risk / Quality Manager
Doctors’ Memorial Hospital