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Case Study: Getting Boards on Board at Allen Memorial Hospital, Iowa Health System

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Abstract:

Background: In 2005, the board of Allen Memorial Hospital, located in Waterloo, Iowa, in association with the leadership and medical staff, committed itself to the Institute of Health Care Improvement's 5 Million Lives Campaign interventions—Six Things All Boards Should Do to Improve Quality and Reduce Harm.

Interventions: (1) Setting an Aim; (2) Getting Data and Hearing Stories; (3) Establishing and Monitoring System-Level Measures; (4) Changing the Environment, Policies, and Culture; (5) Learning...Starting with the Board; and (6) Establishing Executive Accountability. For example, for intervention 3, the Allen board approved 10 clinical, evidence-based standards of care and 27 measures for monthly administrative and quarterly board review. A scorecard of these measures was developed to be presented as a handout at the meetings and to be displayed in poster size in each unit on a monthly basis. To make strides on these measures, rapid improvement teams were implemented, led by both a physician champion and a frontline clinical champion.

Improvement in Focus and Outcomes: Allen's rapid improvement teams have generated measurable success in quality and patient safety. The drive to excellence in clinical care was beginning to be “hard wired” into standard processes, monitoring systems, and periodic reviews. Processes were established to review every process failure and concern of the involved staff.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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