Johns Hopkins has established the leadership and organizational infrastructure to ensure that there is organization-wide awareness of patient safety as an ethical duty, a business imperative and a fiduciary responsibility. These leadership systems and structures ensure that leaders understand the organization’s safety and quality performance gaps, take accountability for improvement, and support that improvement.
Given today’s economic constraints, it’s critical that health care organizations link their safety, quality and efficiency projects to business results. Health care organizations will need to determine the costs and benefits of various investments in patient safety. If there is a business case, who feels the impact and when? Can quality/safety/efficiency projects lead to specific budget impacts at the organizational or departmental level? To answer such questions, organizations need the infrastructure to evaluate the impact of interventions on clinical and financial outcomes. Although society, employers and insurers will benefit in the long run from improved patient safety, the short-term financial impact on provider organizations is still in the early stages of development.
Read this section to learn more about key ways that your organization's leaders can embed patient safety and quality in their workplace culture. We also encourage you to review a March 2011 Commonwealth Fund case study of Johns Hopkins Medicine's patient safety efforts. Hopkins Medicine was one of four health care organizations profiled by the fund, a private foundation that promotes a high-performing health care system.