Sep 23, 2013

Linking Processes of Nursing Care and Patient Safety Outcomes

An Analysis of the Cause and Effects of Safe Practices
  • The National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Safe Practices for Better Healthcare defines a set of health care practices targeted at improving patient safety.
  • The Leapfrog Group began publicly reporting on hospitals’ adoption of Safe Practices in 2004.
  • There is an ongoing desire among policy-makers and other stakeholders in the health care industry to encourage the adoption of evidenced-based processes to improve quality and patient safety.
  • Public reporting of adoption gives hospitals an incentive to adopt new processes but it is unclear whether that incentive is strong enough to have an impact, especially given that participation is voluntary.
Key Findings:
  • The majority of hospitals adopted Safe Practices within three years.
  • Hospitals in competitive markets with higher shares of private patients were significantly more likely to adopt Safe Practices.
  • Insufficient staffing was a barrier to adoption.  Hospitals with RN staffing levels below the 25th percentile were significantly less likely to report adopting Safe Practices.
  • Magnet hospitals were significantly more likely to be early adopters of Safe Practices.



Histogram of Adoption of Safe Practices, 2004-2006 (1,000=Full Adoption)