Building Capacity for Nurse Leadership in Effective Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Initiatives: Multi-Level, Local to Global Strategies
Dennison Himmelfarb, Cheryl
Sawyer, Melinda D.
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Session presented on Sunday, July 26, 2015: Multiple forces, including healthcare reform, demographic trends, and technological advances, are driving an unprecedented rise in the need for competent nurse leaders. In parallel, there is increased scrutiny on factors contributing to the safety and quality of care. Despite massive financial expenditures, many healthcare systems fail to deliver reliable, safe and high quality healthcare. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) established a platform to escalate focus on patient safety and quality in the US over a decade ago. Nevertheless, healthcare remains fragmented and inconsistent in meeting measures of excellence. Maintaining consistently high levels of quality over time and across all healthcare settings remains elusive. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/IOM report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, reinforced that interprofessional education and preparation of nurse leaders is critical to improving patient safety and quality. Historically, health professionals have been trained in discipline 'silos.' A new paradigm of interprofessional education is imperative. Evidence suggests that interprofessional training enhances staff-reported outcomes and safety metrics. In addition to promoting effective, high functioning teams, there is a great need to build nursing capacity to lead these teams at unit-, department-, and institutional-levels to improve patient safety and quality outcomes. At Johns Hopkins, we have established interprofessional training programs to build nursing capacity to lead patient safety and quality improvement efforts. In this symposium, we will describe four distinct multi-level programs designed to increase patient safety and quality improvement capacity that are delivered through in-person, local and online approaches. These programs target local and global audiences of nurses, other health professionals and consumers. Each of these programs has been demonstrated to be effective in improving relevant measures such as systems thinking, quality improvement knowledge and competence in patient safety. We are utilizing participant evaluation data to continuously improve and enhance these ongoing programs.