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Boards need access to relevant and informative measures of safety and quality that they can use to assess current and past performance to inform targeted quality and patient safety improvements. Measurement should inform the board decisions and directions for quality and patient safety. Metrics should connect the organization's mission, vision and strategic plan to improved quality and patient safety outcomes.

Tools and Resources

Board-Level Performance Measurement

  • System-level measures can enable boards to benchmark organizations against each other and to monitor progress over time.

  • Measures that are relevant to the board should answer the basic question of "Is our care getting better?"
  • Powerful measures for boards can include raw local hospital data on key counts, such as deaths, surgical complications, infections, patient complaints and patient satisfaction. Boards should consider measuring patient perspectives on quality and patient safety.

  • Dashboards can be used to communicate about key indicators over time Saskatoon Health Region Dashboard-Fact Sheets  provide a good example of communicating about key measures.

Reporting Practices for Quality and Patient Safety

Professor Charles Vincent (2013) and colleagues published The Measurement and Monitoring of Safety . They identified five dimensions that should be part of any safety and monitoring approach as:

  • Past harm: this encompasses both psychological and physical measures.
  • Reliability: this is defined as 'failure free operation over time' and applies to measures of behaviour, processes and systems.
  • Sensitivity to operations: the information and capacity to monitor safety on an hourly or daily basis.
  • Anticipation and preparedness: the ability to anticipate, and be prepared for, problems.
  • Integration and learning: the ability to respond to, and improve from, safety information.