Health Affairs Paper Grades Nurse-Pt. Safety a B-; SON Faculty Leading the Way for Improvement

On Dec. 1, 2009, the journal Health Affairs published a paper written by Robert M. Wachter, professor and associate chair of the department of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco that graded the healthcare industry’s progress toward goals enumerated in the 1999 Institute of Medicine reporter “To Err Is Human.”

Wachter gave the industry a B- overall. He also assigned a B- to progress made toward improving doctor-patient and nurse-patient safety. Although the paper references SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation) nurse-physician communication strategies, it does not address the lastest research underway to improve quality and safety education for nurses.

Dean-emeritus Linda Cronenwett and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Gwen Sherwood are co-principal investigators on the Quality & Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) grant funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This program, which has received a total of $4.25 million in funding, is designed to prepare nurses who have the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to continuously improve the quality and safety of the healthcare systems within which they work, based on the six quality and safety competencies. The six competencies are patient-centered care, teamwork and collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, safety, and informatics.

Currently, 15 pilot schools have partnered with QSEN to develop and disseminate strategies and best practices for improving nursing education and patient safety.

QSEN will hold a 2010 National Forum, entitled “Climbing from Good to Great,” in Denver on June 2-4. The conference is designed to attract innovators and nurture faculty leaders for the improvement of quality and safety education through exposure to innovations in curricular design and teaching strategies, research related to quality and safety education, and quality improvement or safety studies.

QSEN is currently accepting abstracts. For more information, see the Conference Details page or contact QSEN at qsen@unc.edu.

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