Having support from board members is also critical to success, although starting without such support should not deter future QI leaders.
“There needs to be a vision from the leadership that this work is important, and not just through words but through deeds, because no board in the country will say that quality is not important,” Dr. Glasheen said. “I would say start with small projects you can control, that tie back not only to patient lives but financial performance as well. If you can tell a board you saved the lives of 40 patients who would have died during the year and saved $1-$2 million in the process, the question will shift from whether the board should invest in QI resources to how much should be invested.”
Looking ahead, Dr. Glasheen highlighted the growing importance of hospital-acquired infections, such as surgical-site infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonia, as areas that need to be focused on in the QI sphere.