Oct 9, 2014, 11:00 AM, Posted by David L. Knowlton
Nurses truly run the front lines of hospitals. Their leadership oversees every hospital quality initiative essential to improving care—from reducing hospital-acquired infections, to cutting unnecessary readmissions, to preventing patient falls.
Poor scores in these quality measures now result in government penalties that can hit hospitals hard.
And as health care evolves and hospitals stretch beyond their own walls, nurses are leading the programs that bring health care into communities. They are critical to the success of health reform as more Americans obtain health insurance and seek primary care.
So tell me something? Why is the highest level of hospital leadership in our nation nearly devoid of nurses?
Surveys find the number of nurses with voting positions on hospital boards is about 4 to 6 percent — an unfathomable statistic for anyone who understands, even a little, how hospitals work.
We need the leadership of nurses on every hospital board.