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The Frankfurt Patient Safety Matrix – a Safety Culture Instrument

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2011.0499

german translation / full article

Ferdinand Michael Gerlach, Barbara Hoffmann, Vera Müller, Zeycan Albay

Keywords: Family Medicine Organizational Culture Medical Errors Safety Management

Background: Instruments for the evaluation or self assessment of safety culture are increasingly applied in hospitals and family practices alike. A matrix, the Manchester Patient Safety Framework (MaPSaF), has been developed on the basis of a typological model of patient safety culture. A German application of the instrument did not exist so far.

Methods: The original Instrument MaPSaF has been translated. Two focus groups of physicians and doctor’s assistants from family practices discussed the initial version of the matrix and initial adaptations have been made. In a two-phased practical test the teams from ten plus nine family practices worked with the Frankfurt Patient Safety Matrix (FraTrix) in moderated team sessions. This test has been evaluated two-fold: Each team member received a short questionnaire to be answered directly after the session; at the end of each test phase focus groups with doctor’s assistants and physicians have been held and aspects of the instruments and the team sessions were discussed. After each phase adaptations of FraTrix and the course of the team sessions were made.

Results: Team sessions with the Frankfurt Patient Safety Matrix have been held in 19 family practices with 100 individuals participating in total. Mean duration of sessions was 99 minutes. In the end, 15 practices decided on action plans. The majority of participants reacted positively on the matrix, the team sessions and their facilitation. In the beginning of the adaptation process, some wording and the volume of FraTrix had been criticized. In addition, the concept of the instrument had not been comprehensible for everyone. Therefore, amendments were made regarding phrasing and the symbol of FraTrix in the preparation for team sessions.

Conclusions: MaPSaF has been successfully translated and adapted to the context of German family practices. Teams of family practitioners and doctor´s assistants perceive the Frankfurt Patient Safety Matrix to be a meaningful measure in order to reflect on their way to handle patient safety. In the practical test phase, team sessions could be held as planned. Due to participants’ perceptions, the application of FraTrix in fact stimulated reflection on their own safety culture. Therefore, in addition to questionnaires for the measurement of safety culture a self-assessment tool is now available in Germany.


(State: 15.12.2011)

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