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A voluntary safe table to help competitive organizations collaborate on improving quality

Miriam Marcus‐Smith (Washington Patient Safety Coalition, Seattle, Washington, USA)

Clinical Governance: An International Journal

ISSN: 1477-7274

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




Four Washington State associations came together to form a novel organization in response to rising healthcare sector costs, coupled with the need to ensure efficient provision of high quality care that improves health outcomes. This article seeks to explain the work and progress of that organization.


The article takes the form of a historical narrative.


The initiative has evolved from reliance on grants to becoming self‐funding, expanded the scope of its activities, and satisfied the needs of the stakeholders.

Practical implications

This organizational model is more efficient than going it alone on every effort, and may be a desirable solution for other communities.


This is the first published description of a unique, non‐profit organization founded in 1998, which can serve as a model for other regions that wish to promote collaborative benchmarking among competitive independent health care providers.



Marcus‐Smith, M. (2011), "A voluntary safe table to help competitive organizations collaborate on improving quality", Clinical Governance: An International Journal, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 252-259.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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