Thank you for your article on the ninth annual National Patient Safety Foundation Congress. I support and applaud the work being done by organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Joint Commission International as well as all the other great patient-safety bodies worldwide that are trying to find solutions to this massive problem. However, I agree with the sentiments that conferences such as this one seem to be rolling out the same people addressing the same issues. Surely we have enough evidence nowwe do not need more researchwe need practical, hands-on problem-solving!
Having worked as a nurse and on boards of management, I believe that boards must get out of the boardroom and experience the issues that the organization they represent and make decisions foris dealing with. It should be part of a board members duty to regularly visit different parts of the organization, particularly being involved with the patients and their relatives.
Also, how about having a regular agenda item at every board meeting where a nurse or doctor is invited to present a patient-safety initiative that they have found works, explain why it works, what they have done to make it work and how it could be applied organizationwide? Give the people the power, you may be surprised at the result!
Margaret GehrigManaging directorMargaret Gehrig & AssociatesParkside, Australia
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