Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Leading in Crisis: Lessons for Safety Leaders

George, William W. MBA, DBA*; Denham, Charles R. MD†‡; Burgess, L. Hayley PharmD; Angood, Peter B. MD, FACS, FCCM§; Keohane, Carol RN, BSN

doi: 10.1097/PTS.0b013e3181d2a919
Original Articles

Objective: The National Quality Forum (NQF) Safe Practices are a group of 34 evidence-based Safe Practices that should be universally used to reduce the risk of harm to patients. Four of these practices specifically address leadership. A recently published book, 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis, offers practical advice on how to lead in crisis. An analysis of how concepts from the 7 lessons could be applied to the Safe Practices was presented nationally by webinar to assess the audience's reaction to the information. The objective of this article was to present the information and the audience's reaction to it.

Method: Recommendations for direct actions that health care leaders can take to accelerate adoption of NQF Safe Practices were presented to health care leaders, followed by an immediate direct survey that used Reichheld's "Net Promoter Score" to assess whether the concepts presented were considered applicable and valuable to the audience. In a separate presentation, the challenges and crises facing nursing leaders were addressed by nursing leaders.

Results: Six hundred seventy-four hospitals, with an average of 4.5 participants per hospital, participated in the webinar. A total of 272 safety leaders responded to a survey immediately after the webinar. A Net Promoter Score assessment revealed that 58% of those surveyed rated the value of the information at 10, and 91% scored the value of the webinar to be between 8 and 10, where 10 is considered a strong recommendation that those voting would recommend this program to others.

Conclusions: The overwhelmingly high score indicated that the principles presented were important and valuable to this national audience of health care leadership. The 2010 environment of uncertainty and shrinking financial resources poses significant risk to patients and new challenges for leaders at all levels. A values-grounded focus on personal accountability for leading in crisis situations strongly resonates with those interested in or leading patient safety initiatives.

From the *Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts; †Texas Medical Institute of Technology, Austin, Texas; ‡Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; §National Quality Forum, Washington, District of Columbia; and ∥Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Correspondence: Charles R. Denham, MD, Texas Medical Institute of Technology, 3011 N Inter-regional Hwy 35, Austin, TX 78722 (e-mail:

Funding support for this article was provided by Texas Medical Institute of Technology.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.