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Hughes RG, editor. Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008 Apr.

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

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, M.D., Director; , M.D., M.B.A., President and CEO.

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) are pleased to have jointly sponsored the development of this handbook for nurses on patient safety and quality. Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses examines the broad range of issues involved in providing high-quality and safe care across health care settings.

We know that nurses are at the center of patient care and therefore are essential drivers of quality improvement. From the Institute of Medicine’s reports, including To Err is Human and Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses, we know that patient safety remains one of the most critical issues facing health care today and that nurses are the health care professionals most likely to intercept errors and prevent harm to patients. For us, both at AHRQ and the RWJF, improving patient safety and health care quality is embedded in our mission and at the core of what we do.

We strongly believe that the safety and quality of health care in this Nation is dependent upon the availability of the best research possible and on our ability to deliver the results of that research into the hands of providers, policymakers, and consumers, so that all can make better decisions. We believe the result will be improved health care and safety practices, which will be manifested in measurably better outcomes for patients.

Given the diverse scope of work within the nursing profession in this country, AHRQ and the RWJF expect that the research and concepts presented in the book will be used to improve health care quality by nurses in practice, nurse-educators, nurse-researchers, nursing students, and nursing leaders. The 89 contributors to this book represent a broad range of nurse-researchers and senior researchers throughout this Nation.

The product of this joint effort underscores the commitment of AHRQ and the RWJF to achieving a health care system that delivers higher quality care to everyone. We believe that high-quality health care can be achieved through the use of evidence and an enabled and empowered nursing workforce.

We welcome written comments on this book. They may be sent to Ronda Hughes, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850.


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