Hospitals With Outstanding Nursing Quality Share 4 Key Traits

Rebecca Hendren, February 1, 2011

“Think globally, act locally” is a familiar idiom from the green movement, and it’s appropriate to apply when considering quality improvement initiatives at your healthcare organization.

Quality indicator dashboards for organizations are valuable benchmarking tools, but the interesting data analysis happens when you drill down to the unit level. You might discover that one unit has had fewer catheter-associated urinary tract infections than another unit with a similar patient population. Then it becomes a question of replicating success. 

The American Nurses Association’s National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) collects nursing-related performance data from more than 1,700 hospitals at the unit-level. The data allow organizations to compare themselves to other nursing units either in their region or on the other side of the country. They can use the results to set benchmarks on various aspects of nursing care, patient outcomes, patient safety, and nurse satisfaction.

Last month, nurses and quality improvement professionals met in Miami for the fifth annual NDNQI conference to discuss best practices for improvement.

“It’s a step forward for healthcare and good for our patients whenever we can bring so many nursing experts together to share how they have used data to improve their performance,” said American Nurses Association President Karen Daley. “Transforming healthcare requires making evidence-based decisions that promote delivery of quality care and put the patient at its center. That’s what NDNQI and this conference are all about.”

Rebecca Hendren Rebecca Hendren is a senior managing editor at HCPro, Inc. in Danvers, MA. She edits and manages The Leaders' Lounge blog for nurse managers. Email her at
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