Standard precautions may prevent patient health care associated infections and provider occupational exposures but are not often used by health care workers. A positive patient safety climate might contribute to improved adherence. The aim of this study was to determine the relationships among patient safety climate, standard precaution adherence, and health care worker exposures and HAIs.
This multi-site, cross-sectional study included survey data from nurses on patient safety climate, observational data on adherence, and existing health care worker exposure and health care associated infections data. Data were aggregated to hospital unit level for correlational and multivariable regression analyses.
A total of 5,285 standard precaution observations and 452 surveys were collected across 43 hospital units. Observed adherence to all categories of standard precautions was 64.4%; there were significant differences by provider role. Multivariable models identified key predictors explaining sizeable variance in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (41%), catheter associated urinary tract infections (23%), mucotaneous exposures (43%) and needlestick and sharps injuries (38%).
This study produced findings not previously published thus advancing the state of the science in patient and occupational health safety. These include identifying modifiable features of the safety climate and key organizational characteristics associated better outcomes.
In this novel study we identified that a positive patient safety climate and adherence to standard precautions predict key HAI and occupational health outcomes.

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