Quality not a top priority for half of hospital boards in survey

Health Affairs today published a study surveying a nationally representative sample of board chairs in 1,000 U.S. hospitals. The results found that just half the boards rated quality of care as one of their two top priorities and only a minority reported receiving training in quality. This is the first national study of board chairs linked to quality performance.

According to the Press Release, in identifying the factors that affect the quality of hospital care, leadership and governance have emerged as areas of particular interest. Since boards of directors could have an impact on quality of care, this study evaluated how hospital leadership values quality. The authors collected their data during the winter of 2007-08 by randomly selecting 1,000 institutions from a group of over 3,000 nonprofit acute care hospitals that reported quality data to the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA) in 2007. They reached out to their board chairs, and achieved a response rate of 78.3 percent.

(SOURCES: Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, November 9, 2009; Health Affairs, Hospital Governance And The Quality Of Care, Ashish K. Jha and Arnold M. Epstein,

http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/hlthaff.2009.0297, Health Affairs, doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0297, Published online November 6, 2009, accessed November 23, 2009)