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Engage Nurses to Raise Your Patient Safety Scores

Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, October 25, 2011

Just as the hospital should treat nurses as adults, nursing staff should be more interested in quality outcomes. They must seek out and embrace their level of ownership in these metrics. In today's financial reality, it is no longer acceptable to not take an active role in quality improvement efforts. Organizations should engage nurses in frank and honest communication.

The financial imperative is such that hospitals can't afford for nurses to not be wholly engaged. Back in June, Lillee Gelinas, MSN, RN, FAAN, vice president and chief nursing officer at VHA Inc., explained how "value-based purchasing is a game changer." She said hospitals can't afford to focus only on incremental improvements. They must focus on wholesale transformation, which requires a shift in nurses' thinking.

That means an end to thinking "patient safety" and "quality" belong  to a department and a realization that it belongs to nurses and to every person employed in the organization.

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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