Role of Boards in Quality and Safety
Seven questions every board member should ask about patient safety:
- Does everyone understand the importance of patient safety?
- Do we really have an open and fair culture?
- Are we actively encouraging the reporting of incidents?
- Do we get the right information?
- Are we always open when things go wrong?
- Do we learn from patient safety incidents?
- Are we actively implementing national guidance and safety alerts?
(Fact Sheet, National Patient Safety Agency, June 2009)
Sample charter, Board Quality and Professional Affairs Committee
Questions to ask when forming a Board Quality Committee from Jim Reinertsen
The Ottawa Hospital model for Board and CEO responsibilities vis a vis quality questions.
“Leading Quality on Canadian Boards: The Ottawa Hospital Experience” (PowerPoint Presentation, Dr. James Nininger)
The Vancouver Island Health Authority developed a Board of Directors Guidelines to outline and clarify the role of the Board, its obligations, formal processes and relationship to the organization and its’ staff.
Legislative Responsibilities for Quality and Safety
Board Self Evaluation
- The Ottawa Hospital follows a process whereby new board members are “buddied” with existing board members to develop support networks.
- The Vancouver Island Health Authority carries out a regional self-appraisal process where each board member completes an 11 page questionnaire with questions about facets of their responsibilities, skill sets and structures, functions, processes and outcomes.
Board Competencies to Lead on Quality and Patient Safety
- Etchells, E, Lester, R, Morgan, B, Johnson, B (2005) “Striking a Balance: Who is Accountable for Patient Safety?” Healthcare Quarterly 8 (Special Issue): 146-150.
- Guide to Corporate Governance in the Saskatchewan Health Sector. March 2007.
- Orlikoff, J (2005) “Building Better Boards in an Era of Accountability” Frontiers of Health Services Management 21(3): 3-12.
- Clough, J and Nash, DB (2007) “Health Care Governance for Quality and Safety: The New Agenda” American Journal of Medical Quality 22 (3): 203-212.
- Carlow, D (2010) “Can Healthcare Boards Really Make a Difference in Quality and Safety?” Healthcare Quarterly, 13(1): 46-54.