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Sentinel Event Alert, Issue 43: Leadership committed to safety

August 27, 2009
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sea 43 leadershipLeadership is a critical function in promoting high quality, safe health care. In health care organizations, leadership is provided by the governing body, the chief executive and senior managers, and the leaders of the clinical staff. When a sentinel event occurs in a health care organization, inadequate or ineffective leadership is often one of the contributing factors. In fact, inadequate leadership was a contributing factor in 50 percent of the sentinel events reported to The Joint Commission in 2006.  Research shows that leadership makes a major difference in the quality and safety of patient care.  “Leaders must recognize that all sentinel events involve a failure in the systems and processes which led to the event,” says Jeff Selberg, CEO of Exempla Healthcare. “As leaders, we are accountable for those systems and processes which provide the framework for the clinical environment our staff works within. My first priority is to understand how we improve our clinical environment to reduce the possibility of doing harm.”

 
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