Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses


Publication Date: April 2008

Publisher: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Author(s): Ronda.G. Hughes

Research Area: Health

Type: Report


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation co-sponsored this handbook devoted to helping nurses improve patient safety across a variety of health care settings. The driving force behind this book is the fact that nurses are at the heart of patient care and therefore should also be at the heart of improvements in patient care.

This book includes 51 chapters that have been grouped into six thematic sections: patient safety and quality; evidence-based practice; patient-centered care; working conditions and the work environment for nurses; critical opportunities for patient safety and quality improvement; and tools for quality improvement and patient safety. Each chapter has a section entitled "practice implications" and another section entitled "research implications." The former is meant to outline how evidence presented in the chapter can be used to improve services and quality of care; the latter is designed to delineate research gaps that still need to be addressed, and is recommended for use by clinicians to guide decisions in their practices. The book was written by 89 contributors, representing a broad range of senior nurse researchers nationwide. And, just as the emphasis of the book is on evidence-based measures to improve safety and patient care, the contributions to the text are peer-reviewed and vetted by authorities in this field.

The length (over 1,000 pages) and scope of this book speak to the complexity of the issue and to the integral role nurses must play in addressing it. The authors describe the book as a call to action for nurses, and the next wave of a revolution in patient care and safety that will be led by nurses.