Shared Governance for Patient Care Services
Started at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 1999, the Patient Care Shared Governance Council structure provides a uniform, efficient mechanism for the support of patient care operations and the delivery of patient care. The councils are designed to provide a formal mechanism for all patient care staff to address practice, leadership and research issues. The councils identify problems and find solutions, which improve the quality of patient care and the efficiency of operations. The shared governance concept is an approach that capitalizes on staff knowledge of practice and integrates staff participation in nearly all decisions regarding care of patients.
The Barnes-Jewish Hospital shared governance councils were designed to give nursing staff and others in patient care services a greater voice in patient care. The shared governance councils include three groups:
Unit Practice Committees represent each patient care area. The committees are comprised of staff with different roles who focus on improvements in care and patient/family satisfaction for that specific area.
Clinical Practice Council focuses its work on hospital-wide improvements and how to best coordinate care between units. It includes at least one staff member from each patient care area/unit practice committee, practice and systems support staff, research, risk management and representation from the APN council.
Patient Care Advisory Council is a new management advisory committee, consisting of a staff nurse from each unit and representatives from other disciplines within patient care such as respiratory, pharmacy and other clinical services. The goal of this group is to meet with the vice president of patient care services monthly and provide open communication concerning issues and concerns.
Patient Care Leadership monitors the Unit Practice Committees and Clinical Practice Council. Patient Care Leadership Council comprises leadership throughout all of patient care services.
A Magnet Nursing Services Recognition sub-committee was established in 2004 with representatives from all of the above groups to continue Barnes-Jewish Hospital's commitment to retaining this important nursing status. Annual monitoring and evaluation are required to ensure the hospital continues to maintain its excellence in nursing care.