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Briefing Date:11/04/2003
Topic:Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses

Institute of Medicine
Board on Health Care Services
Committee on the Work Environment for Nurses and Patient Safety


Congressional Briefing
Tuesday, November 4, 2003
430 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg. -- 1:00 p.m.


Keeping Patients Safe:

Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses


Donald M. Steinwachs (accompanied by other Committee Members) Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy and Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and Chair, Committee on the Work Environment for Nurses and Patient Safety, Board on Health Care Services, Institute of Medicine, The National Academies

New, from the Institute of Medicine's Quality Chasm Series, this report identifies solutions to problems in the work environments of hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care organizations that threaten patient safety through their effect on nursing care. A companion to the patient safety report, To Err is Human, the report presents actions that all health care organizations which rely on nurses should take. The report's findings and recommendations address the related issues of management practices, workforce capability, work design, and organizational safety culture. Actions needed from federal and state governments, as well as from parties involved in shaping the work environments of nurses also are specified. The report presents evidence from health services, behavioral and organizational research, and human factors and engineering to address public policy questions, including nurse staffing levels, nurse work hours, and mandatory overtime.

This briefing was for members of Congress and congressional staff only. The report was publicly released on November 4, 2003 and can be found, in its entirety, on the Web site of The National Academies Press.

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