Hospital board oversight of quality and safety: a stakeholder analysis exploring the role of trust and intelligence

Millar, Ross, Freeman, Tim ORCID logoORCID: and Mannion, Russell (2015) Hospital board oversight of quality and safety: a stakeholder analysis exploring the role of trust and intelligence. BMC Health Services Research, 15 . ISSN 1472-6963 [Article] (doi:10.1186/s12913-015-0771-x)

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Background: Hospital boards, those executive members charged with developing appropriate organisational strategies and cultures, have an important role to play in developing the safety of these organisations. However, recent attention has been drawn to boards’ ability to enact their duty to ensure the quality and safety of care. This paper offers critical reflection on the relationship between hospital board oversight and patient safety. In doing so it highlights new perspectives and suggestions for developing this area of interest.

Methods: the article draws on a series of 10 interviews with key informants and policy actors who form part of the ‘issue network’ interested in the promotion of patient safety in the English National Health Service.
Results: the interviews surfaced a series of narratives regarding hospital board oversight of patient safety. These elaborated and refined the theoretical perspectives trust and intelligence in highlighting the potential dangers and limitations of approaches to hospital board oversight which have been narrowly focused on a risk-based view of organisational performance. In response, a need to engage with the development of trust based organisational relationships is identified, in which effective board oversight is built on ‘trust’ characterised leadership styles and behaviours attentive to the needs and concerns of both staff and patients. Effective board oversight also requires the gathering and triangulating of ‘intelligence’ from both national and locally generated information sources.

Conclusions: We call for a re-imagination of hospital board oversight in the light of these different perspectives and anticipate an emerging research agenda in this area.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article number = 196
Keywords (uncontrolled): Boards, quality, patient safety, trust, intelligence
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
Item ID: 15707
Notes on copyright: Access to full text restricted pending copyright check.
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Depositing User: Tim Freeman
Date Deposited: 01 May 2015 11:59
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 18:35

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