Hospital board oversight of patient safety: a narrative review & synthesis of recent empirical research

Millar, Ross and Mannion, Russell and Freeman, Tim and Davies, H. T. O. (2013) Hospital board oversight of patient safety: a narrative review & synthesis of recent empirical research. Milbank Quarterly, 91 (4). pp. 738-770. ISSN 0887-378X

This is the latest version of this item.

Full text is not in this repository.

Abstract

Context:

Recurring problems with patient safety have led to a growing interest in helping hospitals’ governing bodies provide more effective oversight of the quality and safety of their services. National directives and initiatives emphasize the importance of action by boards, but the empirical basis for informing effective hospital board oversight has yet to receive full and careful review.

Methods:

This article presents a narrative review of empirical research to inform the debate about hospital boards’ oversight of quality and patient safety. A systematic and comprehensive search identified 122 papers for detailed review. Much of the empirical work appeared in the last ten years, is from the United States, and employs cross-sectional survey methods.

Findings:

Recent empirical studies linking board composition and processes with patient outcomes have found clear differences between high- and low-performing hospitals, highlighting the importance of strong and committed leadership that prioritizes quality and safety and sets clear and measurable goals for improvement. Effective oversight is also associated with well-informed and skilled board members. External factors (such as regulatory regimes and the publication of performance data) might also have a role in influencing boards, but detailed empirical work on these is scant.

Conclusions:

Health policy debates recognize the important role of hospital boards in overseeing patient quality and safety, and a growing body of empirical research has sought to elucidate that role. This review finds a number of areas of guidance that have some empirical support, but it also exposes the relatively inchoate nature of the field. Greater theoretical and methodological development is required if we are to secure more evidence-informed governance systems and practices that can contribute to safer care.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations > Diversity and Gender group
Item ID: 13078
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Tim Freeman
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2014 16:27
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:30
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/13078

Available Versions of this Item

  • Hospital board oversight of patient safety: a narrative review & synthesis of recent empirical research. (deposited 26 Feb 2014 16:27) [Currently Displayed]

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item