AHRQ report examines impact of human resource patterns on quality and safety

Research Activities October 2011, No. 374

A new AHRQ-funded report, "Promoting Safety and Quality Through Human Resources Practices," examines the growing support for a link between innovative human resources staffing patterns and improvements in safety and quality in health care settings.

The report features the results of five case studies conducted with health care organizations with strong reputations for human resources management based on high-performance work practices. Key findings included the importance of engaging staff with an organization's mission, vision, goals, and objectives; empowering frontline staff; hiring and placing staff based on competencies and organizational fit, rather than just on formal training; holding leaders accountable for organizational objectives; and using a high-performance organizing framework, such as Six Sigma or Lean production to clarify the link with quality and safety outcomes.

Written by researchers at Ohio State University, the report also lays the groundwork for future research to establish a more definitive link between high-performance work practices and quality outcomes. The report is available at Promoting Safety and Quality Through Human Resource Practices .

You can access a tool derived from this project, "Using Workforce Practices to Guide Quality Improvement: A Guide for Hospitals."

Current as of October 2011
Internet Citation: AHRQ report examines impact of human resource patterns on quality and safety: Research Activities October 2011, No. 374. October 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/oct11/1011RA34.html