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Protecting the patient: Collaborating to achieve the ideal hospital work environment

Patient Safety and Health Care Management

ISBN: 978-1-84663-954-8, eISBN: 978-1-84663-955-5

Publication date: 25 July 2008


Research suggests that improving hospital work environments and solving the nursing shortage are critical to improving patient care. The Houston–Galveston region created an aggressive approach to this issue by forming an unusual coalition of business, university, and hospital leaders and using a quality improvement approach. Four years later, the project has achieved over 40% participation among hospitals in the 13-county region and includes 50 hospitals employing approximately 15,000 registered nurses. The data that have been collected by this collaborative to date suggests that hospitals are taking action to improve outcomes by modifying their key initiatives to address the attributed causes of poor work environments. From 2004 to 2005, executives of top performing hospitals increasingly attributed successful work environment outcomes to an emphasis on management development and executive-driven initiatives, de-emphasizing specific employee behavior, process, and outcome-based initiatives.


Batten, D., Goodman, G. and Distefano, S.M. (2008), "Protecting the patient: Collaborating to achieve the ideal hospital work environment", Savage, G.T. and Ford, E.W. (Ed.) Patient Safety and Health Care Management (Advances in Health Care Management, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 149-161.



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