In September 2007, more than 125 nurse executives from around the country met in Chicago, Ill., to develop practical tools and recommendations for "Designing Frameworks for Patient Safety," the theme of the Third Annual Nursing Leadership Congress. The Congress is sponsored by McKesson and Intel in collaboration with the American Organization of Nurse Executives, Institute for Safe Medication Practices, National Patient Safety Foundation, and Joint Commission Resources.
Plenary speakers included Ann Hendrich, RN, MS, FAAN, vice president, Clinical Excellence Operations, Ascension Health, who shared her large health system's progress toward their goal of eliminating preventable errors by 2008. Executives from Virginia Mason Medical Center explained how the organization is seeking perfection in health care by applying the Toyota Production System to medicine. Maureen White, RN, MBA, CNAA, senior vice president and chief nursing executive of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, described how participation in Transforming Care at the Bedside, a national project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, has challenged staff to "stop, look, and rethink what they are doing and why they are doing it"-leading to remarkable results. Dale Beatty, RN, MS, vice president for Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer for Northwest Community Healthcare, outlined the framework for safety used at his 511-bed community hospital.
The cornerstone of the Nursing Leadership Congress is the roundtables. This year, participants broke into groups to brainstorm around 6 topics: the role of the patient and family, external partnerships, physical design and workflow of an organization to support patient safety, measurement for patient safety, leadership competencies for effecting change, and strategic planning and organizational structure.
Kevin Carroll, founder of the Katalyst Consultancy, ended the Congress on a high note with his inspiring stories about how to overcome adversity to achieve ambitious goals.