Magazine article American Nurse Today

From Your ANA President: Leading the Way on Quality

Magazine article American Nurse Today

From Your ANA President: Leading the Way on Quality

Article excerpt

MAYBE YOU ARE AMONG the more than 1,100 nurses and other healthcare professionals who will soon be heading to ANA's eighth annual Quality Conference to hear Lucian Leape, coauthor of the groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report "To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System," outline seven safety strategies.

Or maybe you will remain at work, striving to provide the best possible care and wondering how your contributions to the heightened quality movement can achieve more recognition.

Wherever you are, we want you to know that ANA is committed to creating and leading initiatives that demonstrate nurses' crucial role in quality. We've been invested in quality initiatives for decades--with the development of nursing-sensitive indicators and establishment of the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators[R] (NDNQI[R]). These indicators currently allow nearly 2,000 hospitals nationwide to track and compare their progress on 18 measures, including patient falls, infections, and nurse staffing and skill mix. That means nurses' impact on patient outcomes can be measured and data-driven decisions can be made on how and who delivers the best care.

ANA also is among 52 healthcare organizations, known collectively as the National Priorities Partnership, that share a vision for a better, safer, and value-driven healthcare system. We have helped shape--and continue to influence--our country's National Quality Strategy, including six identified priorities. Three of those priorities we, as nurses, clearly own: making care safer by reducing harm, promoting care coordination, and engaging patients and their families in their care.

Let's start with just a few examples of ANA's work on safer care. Researchers have used NDNQI data for many years to show the link between better RN staffing and improved patient outcomes. We also are bringing together ANA-affiliated specialty nursing organizations and other key stakeholders for two summits this year to develop high-impact quality measures that capture nurses' contributions to safer and better care in the ambulatory care setting.

Further, ANA is advancing the use of e-measures, which pull nursing care-related data directly from the electronic health record. …

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