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October 19, 2012

NAHQ: Four necessary elements of a patient safety initiative

Daily Briefing

The National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) this week released a set of recommendations to help health care organizations improve quality and error reporting.

The NAHQ "Call to Action" urges leaders at health care organization to implement a framework to ensure integrity in health care quality and safety while protecting staff members. That framework should include four "actionable components:"

  • Establish a focus on accountability for quality and safety that is part of the hospital culture;
  • Create protective structures that encourage staff to report quality and safety concerns;
  • Conduct comprehensive, transparent data collection and report it to internal and external oversight bodies; and
  • Respond quickly and effectively to all quality and safety concerns.

NAHQ in its Call to Action also urged leaders to foster teamwork and open communication throughout the hospital staff and ensure effective governance of the improvement agenda.

Susan Goodwin and Cynthia Barnard of NAHQ emphasize the importance of staff participation and engagement to achieve meaningful quality improvements.

Moreover, Barnard—who also is the director of quality strategies at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago—notes that improving quality and error reporting is good for practice and business, as more new financial models, such as ACOs, tie quality outcomes to payments.

The American College of Physician Executives, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, National Patient Safety Foundation, and the Joint Commission collaborated with NAHQ on the recommendations (Brimmer, Healthcare Finance News, 10/17; NAHQ release, 10/16).

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  1. Current ArticleNAHQ: Four necessary elements of a patient safety initiative

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