Engaging bedside clinicians, especially nurses, is essential for the success of sustainable process improvement programs and thus for improving the quality of health care. Studies have shown that properly implemented professional councils can be effective in engaging and empowering bedside clinicians to create lasting and meaningful improvements. This case study describes a 5-year program to implement and operate staff-led councils to lead evidence-based practice (EBP) quality improvement initiatives at 6 community hospitals. The outcomes presented in this case study demonstrate that staff-led councils have the potential to improve patient safety and quality of care as evidenced by observed reductions in ventilator-associated pneumonias, central line-associated bloodstream infections, and mortality from acute myocardial infarction and severe sepsis.
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