Study: U.S. Hospital Boards Less Engaged in Quality Than English Counterparts

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A new study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health published in Health Affairs suggests that hospital board members at U.S. hospitals are less engaged in quality issues than board members of English hospitals.

The researchers surveyed 132 board chairs of hospitals in the National Health Service and compared the results to a 2010 survey of U.S. hospital board chairs.

According to the survey results, English board chairs have greater expertise on quality issues and spend a greater proportion of their time on quality than their U.S. counterparts.

Specifically, nearly one-third of English chairs reported their board members had "substantial experience in quality of care," while only 19 percent of U.S. board chairs said the same. Additionally, 72 percent of English chairs identified patient safety or clinical effectiveness as the top priority for oversight, while only 31 percent of U.S. chairs did so.

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