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Children's Hospital Safety Climate Questionnaire

View the CHSC Questionnaire
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About the Children’s Hospital Safety Climate (CHSC) Questionnaire

Engaging families in care has the potential to improve safety for hospitalized children given that parents often have the responsibility of communicating on their children’s behalf and can play a role in reducing medical error. As such, understanding the patient safety climate of hospitals from the perspective of patients or their families can be a valuable step towards improving patient safety. This questionnaire is the first instrument, to our knowledge, that evaluates the patient safety climate of hospitals from the viewpoint of patients or families.

The questionnaire was developed by researchers and clinicians (Principal Investigator: Elizabeth D. Cox, MD, PhD) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine & Public Health – Departments of Pediatrics, Biostatistics & Medical Informatics, and Psychiatry; the UW-Madison Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, the UW-Madison School of Nursing, and the UW Hospitals and Clinics.

What does the questionnaire contain?

The CHSC Questionnaire contains 14 questions related to parent perceptions of the hospital safety climate, which were adapted from the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture.

Who should use the CHSC questionnaire?

This questionnaire is intended for health care administrators, researchers, and clinicians interested in understanding patient and family perceptions of the safety climate at their hospital(s).

While the questionnaire was developed for parents of hospitalized children, the majority of the questions are not pediatric-specific and could be used in an adult or geriatric population, although psychometrics for this are not currently available.


This project was supported by grant R18 HS0018680 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Additional support was provided by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health’s Health Innovation Program (HIP) and the Community-Academic Partnerships core of the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (UW ICTR), grant 9 U54 TR000021 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (previously grant 1 UL1 RR025011 from the National Center for Research Resources). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or other funders.


Cox ED, Carayon P, Hansen KW, et al. Parent perceptions of children's hospital safety climate. BMJ Qual Saf 2013;22(8):664-71.

Toolkit citation

Cox ED. Children’s Hospital Safety Climate Questionnaire. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin – Madison Department of Pediatrics, UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, and UW Health Innovation Program; 2013. Available from:  

Children's Hospital Safety Climate Questionnaire on AHRQ Innovations Exchange

The Children's Hospital Safety Climate Questionnaire is included as a QualityTool in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Health Care Innovations Exchange, a web-based program designed to support health care professionals in sharing and adopting innovations that improve health care quality. View the Children's Hospital Safety Climate Questionnaire QualityTool page by clicking the button below.

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