What a song and dance over Welsh patients given tambourine to alert nurses rather than electric buzzer!

June 27, 2011

Here at Healthcare Governance Review we take the issue of patient safety and welfare very seriously. But we couldn’t help being somewhat bemused over a newspaper report that in the absence of a working buzzer, patients in a Victorian hospital in Cardiff were provided with a tambourine by well meaning staff to help them alert nurses in an emergency. Readers can access the Telegraph’s version of the story here.

We asked Royston, our cartoonist, to come up with an insight into how our fictitious Dingley Dell NHS foundation trust Board might deal with knowledge of this situation. His response can be viewed below.

Report on Governance in High-Performing US Health Systems

June 11, 2011

The American Hospital Association’s Center for Healthcare Governance has made available, freely in PDF format, its 2009 research report on trustee and CEO views on governance in high-performing health systems. The report examines the structures, practices, and cultures of community health system boards and compares them to several benchmarks of good governance.

According to the Center for Healthcare Governance, the report’s conclusions and recommendations get down to straightforward practical measures that a hospital or health system board can implement. Among others, they include blueprints for evaluation of the board’s strategic and bread-and-butter performance, plus review of membership composition. Well-noted are recommendations for essential board development and attention to community benefits. These and other areas provide a roadmap for needed change in US healthcare boards plus the rationale for why this makes sense.

This study was not designed to analyze the statistical relationships between benchmarks of good governance and system operating performance. However, it’s clear there is substantial variation in the extent to which current board structures, practices, and cultures meet these benchmarks. There are major gaps, and they are more evident in low-performing and mid-range performing systems. On-site interviews with board leaders and CEOs in ten high-performing systems documented their views on the key factors that have contributed to their systems’ success — success that, in several instances, required a major turnaround. Whether these are simply coinciding factors or cause-and-effect, the report’s authors argue that there is a very compelling argument for community health system boards to adopt the well-established principles for improvement that they present in the report.

Download the report Governance in High-Performing Health Systems: A Report on Trustee and CEO Views here.

Notable quote: Governance Vs management

March 27, 2011

“The practice of governing is mainly different from managing: It is not about managing [organizations] but confirming they are well run. It is less about doing and taking action than reflecting and learning. The key principles are that of prudence, acting in good faith, stewardship, duty, openness, transparency and integrity. These are the real building-blocks of excellence in corporate governance and the inclination actions for an effective board.”



Updated Board Development Tool for existing and aspiring Foundation Trusts

March 1, 2011

The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement’s Board Development Tool (BDT) has helped more than 300 NHS boards, and now there’s a version to help boards review their effectiveness in line with governance requirements for foundation trust status. This Foundation Trust BDT uses a new model to establish effectiveness, focusing on core tasks and the key enablers needed to perform them.

For further information click here.

Loughborough University postgraduate programme in healthcare governance – next intake November 2012

February 7, 2011

This well established and popular part-time postgraduate programme in healthcare governance, run by Loughborough University School of Business and economics, will take its next intake in November 2012.

The programme accepts anyone interested in healthcare governance and with suitable qualifications and/or experience to undertake postgraduate level study. It is not always a necessity to have a first degree.

Students can study for a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma or Master of Science (MSc) degree in healthcare governance. The full MSc degree takes a minimum of 2 years by part-time study and includes modules on corporate governance in healthcare, clinical governance (including patient safety) and managing healthcare risk, together with a dissertation on any healthcare governance related topic.

For further information, click here.

Notable quote – effective governance

January 30, 2011

“Effective governance means the board does not accept what it is told without question.”

Barry Bader in ‘Great Boards’ Oct 20 2010 – BP’s Lapses Offer Lessons for Hospital Governance.

Read BP’s Lapses Offer Lessons for Hospital Governance here.

Notable quote – Boards and strategy

October 28, 2010

A fundamental flaw in The Healthy NHS Board guidance is the requirement that boards should ‘formulate strategy.’ Strategy is a function of management, not governance. Besides, non executive directors typically have neither the time or experience of healthcare to go off and develop organisational strategy.

According to US board expert David Nadler, “In the area of strategy, the board can play an important role not by formulating corporate strategy but by reviewing strategic initiatives and providing an external reality check grounded in their collective experience, insight, and expertise. With increasing frequency, we’re seeing CEOs hold strategy off-sites that give board members the opportunity to wade deeply into the latter stages of strategy development. That investment in time and work ultimately pays dividends all around. The board benefits from a deeper understanding of the company and its game plan and management benefits from having a better strategy – one to which the board members feel some personal commitment.”

Read more here.