Visualising differences in professionals' perspectives on quality and safety

Joanne Francis Travaglia*, Peter Ivan Nugus, David Greenfield, Johanna Irene Westbrook, Jeffrey Braithwaite

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The safety-and-quality movement is now two decades old. Errors persist despite best efforts, indicating that there are entrenched overt and perhaps less explicit barriers limiting the success of improvement efforts. Objectives and hypotheses: To examine the perspectives of five groups of healthcare workers (administrative staff, nurses, medical practitioners, allied health and managers) and to compare and contrast their descriptions of quality-and-safety activities within their organisation. Differences in perspectives can be an indicator of divergence in the conceptualisation of, and impetus for, quality-improvement strategies which are intended to engage healthcare professions and staff. Design, setting and participants: Study data were collected in a defined geographical healthcare jurisdiction in Australia, via individual and group interviews held across four service streams (aged care and rehabilitation; mental health; community health; and cancer services). Data were collected in 2008 and analysed, using data-mining software, in 2009. Results: Clear differences in the perspectives of professional groups were evident, suggesting variations in the perceptions of, and priorities for, quality and safety. Conclusions: The visual representation of quality and safety perspectives provides insights into the conceptual maps currently utilised by healthcare workers. Understanding the similarity and differences in these maps may enable more effective targeting of interprofessional improvement strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-783
Number of pages6
JournalBMJ Quality and Safety
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

A correction for this article was published in BMJ Quality & Safety, vol. 22, issue 2, p. 182. DOI: 10.1136/bmjqs.2011.051755


Dive into the research topics of 'Visualising differences in professionals' perspectives on quality and safety'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this