Leadership engagement is an important component of the HIIN program. A “just” culture that embraces transparent error disclosure processes, while maintaining professional accountability, is an important first step for patient safety to become a reality. Variations in how top leadership effectively link organizational mission, values, strategies, practices and policies may affect how well a culture of safety is established within the organization. A recent systematic review found that, in general, leadership was the most effective organizational characteristic associated with hospital quality improvement outcomes (Hearld et al., 2008). The 2010 NQF Safe Practices specifically targets the importance of top-level leadership in driving a culture of quality and safety.
While much of the work of the HIIN will be focused on education and training of quality managers, hospital teams, and supporting the work of front-line staff in the improvement effort, it is paramount to align and equip hospital leadership to lead change improvement efforts. We will work with leadership to set the tone for the effort, provide resources, monitor performance, and provide ongoing encouragement for success of the initiative.
The HIIN program will facilitate hospital leadership engagement through several means.
Each enrolled CEO will be asked complete a brief leadership structures and systems survey. This leadership survey will be completed every 6 months and help determine the effectiveness of training and other support from the HIIN on the engagement of the hospital’s leadership and Board.
IHC will integrate training on culture of safety leadership in its Learning Communities and IHC/IHA venues.
IHC’s technical assistance support will include leadership content for hospitals requesting this type of educational assistance.
Through these initiatives, the HIIN aims to empower leadership to effectively lead and support quality improvement initiatives, thereby building future capacity for these efforts within each participating hospital.