Strategic Focus on Quality and Serious Safety Event Reduction

  • Board and senior management truly understand and advocate the relationship between the results of success in safety and/or quality efforts and how this leads to organizational success
  • Board and senior management take the ‘long view’ on improving patient care quality & safety benefits for the community served, directed toward the organization’s mission and vision

Top Priority in Strategic and Operational Planning

  • Strategic planning consistently and clearly articulates the goal of “zero patient harm” as the most critical organizational focus
  • Operational planning follows this strategic focus: all leaders (board, medical staff and administration), and staff understand quality and safety as a core, unassailable value

 Resource Allocation Sufficient for Quality and Safety Improvements

  • Consistent with strategic and operational planning, both short-term and long-range operational and capital budgets reflect prioritization of quality and safety investments over unrelated budget requests
  • Flexing resource allocations to address new safety science and technology advancements is critical

 Learn from Others

  • Scan environment frequently to accelerate adoption of new knowledge and safety and technology practices
  • Consider learning needs at all levels and for all functions, including the Board

Systems and Structures Support Quality and Safety Measurement and Improvement

  • Developing the necessary infrastructure to understand and capably measure complex care processes and outcomes is essential to implementing, evaluating and sustaining improvements
  • Tracking and trending quality and safety measurements for all key functions and patient care processes, followed by communicating to all groups (including the board), increases transparency and reinforces the commitment to improve

Track Baselines to Evaluate and Quantify Improvements

  • Effective data management and analytics begins with tracking valid, reliable measures
  • Synthesizing and triangulating multiple sources of valid, reliable data enables meaningful improvement dashboards
  • Prioritize which metrics ‘matter’ for patient and financial improvements and quantify progress

Communicate Successes and ‘Hard Wire’ to Sustain

  • Reinforce leaders’ and staff’s efforts to continuously improve quality and safety by celebrating incremental and transformational improvements
  • Sustain improvements through quality control mechanisms
  • Continue to measure to evaluate whether improvements have been sustained, or new challenges are present

Evaluate and Revise Actions for Continued Efforts toward ‘Zero Harm’

  • Incremental or modest increases (“stair step goals”) build confidence
  • Deterioration or decreases in quality and safety performance should be evaluated promptly to understand if the problem has changed or new root causes have emerged
  • Continue the cycle of quality improvement and quality control