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Pomey, Denis, Baker, Preval, and MacIntosh-Murray (2008) conducted a literature review around the role of the board in quality and safety and how board policies and actions can impact quality and safety. Denis, Champagne, Pomey, Préval, and Tré (2005) defined the function of governance as setting a vision and providing resourcing, information, skills development, relationship management, control, and monitoring.

(1) Vision

  • The board can place the values of quality and safety at the core of an organizational vision.
  • Boards can support the alignment of strategic and operational goals with quality and safety through vision and/or mission statements, and broad implementation strategies.

(2) Resourcing and skills development

  • Boards can ensure that there are individuals on the board who have expertise and knowledge to understand and promote quality and safety issues. Agenda setting at the board level will ensure that quality and safety is addressed at the board level and dealt with using a consistent approach.

(3) Relationship management

  • The board has an indirect influence on processes that influence care delivery; however, the quality of the relationship that the board develops with clinicians and the senior executive and management team is important in building trust and collaboration required to manage quality and patient safety.

(4) Control and monitoring

  • The board’s role in the continuous monitoring of performance and improvement with solid, clear indicators is a key element in a governance approach to quality and safety.