The purpose of this unique project is to use evidence‐based methods to improve leadership competencies and the culture of interdisciplinary executive team management in order to improve the rate of adoption of leadership, quality, and patient safety best practices. Improvements in organizational performance will be measured using a balanced scorecard of process and outcome measures including quality and patient safety (Q/PS) indicators. The project emphasizes the role and responsibility of nurse leaders for leading quality and patient safety initiatives in relationship to other members of the management team.
The initial phase of this study was supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The impetus for the study was the recognition that the role of the Chief Nurse Officer as part of the senior leadership team in complex healthcare organizations is pivotal if quality and safety outcomes are to be achieved in patient care, yet may be undervalued and/or underutilized. This project was executed within a selected sample of hospitals within the NCHL LENS. On‐site interviews were conducted with executives and nurse leaders from eight hospitals, representing five health systems operating in six states (California, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, and New York). Approximately 30‐40 people were interviewed using a uniform interview protocol at each site, representing Board leadership, senior executive team and physician leadership, nursing management, and staff nurses.
From the qualitative data analysis, several key components emerged that are hypothesized to enhance organizational effectiveness in Q/PS initiatives. Phase II of the project, entitled Improving Senior Leadership Team Effectiveness in Quality and Patient Safety, will include the design and implementation of team‐ and practice‐based learning at the executive level and individual coaching in order to (1) develop the abilities/competencies of the CNO and senior team, (2) expand the capacity of the organization, senior team, and CNO, and (3) improve prioritization and accountability for quality and safety outcomes.
The study’s principal investigators are Joanne Disch, PhD, RN, University of Minnesota, and Scott DeRue, PhD, University of Michigan. A nationally recognized advisory council of academic and practitioner thought leaders in organizational development and nursing leadership are serving as advisors to the research team.