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Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the lead federal agency charged with improving the safety and quality of America’s health care system. AHRQ develops the knowledge, tools, and data needed to improve the health care system and help Americans, health care professionals, and policy makers make informed health decisions.

AHRQ invests in research on the Nation's health delivery system that goes beyond the "what" of health care to understand "how" to make health care safer and improve quality.

AHRQ creates materials to teach and train health care systems and professionals to put the results of research into practice.

AHRQ generates measures and data used by providers and policymakers.

Areas of focus

AHRQ invests in research on the Nation's health delivery system that goes beyond the "what" of health care to understand "how" to make health care safer and improve quality.

AHRQ creates materials to teach and train health care systems and professionals to put the results of research into practice.

AHRQ generates measures and data used by providers and policymakers.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Healthy Work Environments

Creating a healthy work environment (HWE) enables nurses to provide the highest standards of compassionate patient care while being fulfilled at work. In fact, AACN’s data consistently shows units that are implementing HWE standards outperform those that are not in many ways. These include the overall health of the work environment, better nurse staffing and retention, less moral distress and lower rates of workplace violence. Learn more about the six HWE standards (Skilled Communication, True Collaboration, Effective Decision Making, Appropriate Staffing, Meaningful Recognition and Authentic Leadership), conduct a free assessment of your unit and find the evidence-based resources needed to build and sustain an HWE.

In 2001, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) made a commitment to actively promote the creation of healthy work environments that support and foster excellence in patient care wherever acute and critical care nurses’ practice. AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Excellence, issued in 2005, responded to mounting evidence that unhealthy work environments contribute to medical errors, ineffective delivery of care, and conflict and stress among health care professionals.

The standards uniquely identified previously discounted systemic behaviors that can result in unsafe conditions and obstruct the ability of individuals and organizations to achieve excellence. AACN called for the creation and continual fostering of healthy work environments as an imperative for ensuring patient safety and optimal outcomes, enhancing staff recruitment and retention, and maintaining health care organizations’ financial viability. They provide an evidence-based framework for organizations to create work environments that encourage nurses and their colleagues in every health care profession to practice to their utmost potential, ensuring optimal patient outcomes and professional fulfillment.

Continue reading the AACN's executive summary and get more information on the Healthy Work Environments effort.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI Lucian Leape Institute)

The IHI Lucian Leape Institute (LLI) was formed in 2007 by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF, which has since merged with IHI) to provide a strategic vision for improving patient safety. Composed of international thought leaders with a common interest in patient safety, the LLI functions as a think tank to identify new approaches to improving patient safety; call for the innovation necessary to expedite the work; create significant, sustainable improvements in culture, process, and outcomes; and encourage key stakeholders to assume significant roles in advancing patient safety.

The LLI is named for Lucian Leape, MD, who served as the founding chairman and remains an active member. Dr. Leape was a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Quality of Health Care in America Committee, which published the seminal works in the patient safety movement, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System (1999) and Crossing the Quality Chasm (2001).

The IHI Lucian Leape Institute has focused on identifying and framing vital transforming concepts that require system-level attention and action. Members identified five critical concepts in a 2009 paper, Transforming healthcare: A Safety Imperative, published in Quality and Safety in Health Care (now BMJ Quality & Safety):

  • Medical education reform
  • Active consumer engagement in all aspects of health care
  • Transparency as a practiced value in everything we do
  • Integration of care within and across health care delivery systems
  • Restoration of joy and meaning in work and ensuring the safety of the health care workforce

Fulfilling the objectives embodied in these concepts is critical to moving the patient safety agenda forward. Between 2010 and 2015, the LLI published five reports in its series analyzing these concepts and recommending actions, and in 2016 issued Transforming Health Care: A Compendium of Reports from the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute. This compendium brings together the executive summaries, recommendations, and action checklists from the five reports. It is a call to action for health care leaders to inform their discussions, set work priorities, and make what may sometimes be difficult decisions in order to make greater progress toward safer care.

The LLI's most recent work includes development of a resource to help leaders create and sustain safety cultures and research into the public’s view of patient safety.

The Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, an independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 22,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

The Joint Commission enterprise envisions a future of zero harm in health care and is committed to helping make it a reality. We’re leading the way to zero™ by providing tools and resources to help organizations transform the way they work to prevent harm.

Our Mission: To continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.

Vision Statement: All people always experience the safest, highest quality, best-value health care across all settings.

The National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine Health and Medicine Division (HMD – formerly Institute of Medicine/IOM)

The Health and Medicine Division (HMD) is a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The National Academies are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.

HMD’s aim is to help those in government and the private sector make informed health decisions by providing evidence upon which they can rely. Each year, more than 3,000 individuals volunteer their time, knowledge, and expertise to advance the nation’s health through the work of HMD.

Many of the studies that HMD undertakes are requested by federal agencies and independent organizations; others begin as specific mandates from Congress. While our expert, consensus committees are vital to our advisory role, HMD also convenes a series of forums, roundtables, and standing committees, as well as other activities, to facilitate discussion; discovery; and critical, cross-disciplinary thinking.

HMD previously was the Institute of Medicine (IOM) program unit of the National Academies. On March 15, 2016, the division was renamed HMD, building on the heritage of the IOM’s work in medicine while emphasizing its increased focus on a wider range of health matters.

Pennsylvania Action Coalition (PA AC)

The Pennsylvania Action Coalition was established in 2011 to promote a healthy Pennsylvania through improvements in the quality, accessibility, and safety of nursing. We do this by implementing the evidence-based recommendations in the Institute of Medicine’s (now the National Academy of Medicine) Future of Nursing Report.

We aim to achieve our goals by building strategic partnerships throughout the Commonwealth with local, regional, and statewide stakeholders. These partners include individuals and organizations: healthcare systems, academic institutions, nursing leadership organizations, businesses, community organizations, unions, and anyone involved in advancing healthcare through nursing in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Action Coalition is a part of the Campaign for Action, a national initiative coordinated by the Center to Champion Nursing in America.

© Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders

461 Cochran Road #246

Pittsburgh, PA 15228


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