Wisconsin Hospitals Embark on the HRO Journey

June 23, 2017

Wisconsin consistently ranks among the best states in the country based on the quality and safety of its health care delivery system. It is a commitment to continuous improvement and a focus on patient safety that drives hospitals and health systems to strive for even higher clinical standards.

In partnership with The Joint Commission’s Center for Healthcare Transformation, WHA’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) hospitals are taking active steps to improve the “culture of safety” for both patients and staff. 

A convening of more than 120 health care leaders representing 50 hospitals gathered at Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells June 14 to learn about and consider tangible ways to more deeply engage leaders in creating safer environments for accountability, trust and employee engagement. 

Presentations by Coleen Smith, LuAnn Vis, and Ziad Karam of the Center for Healthcare Transformation described high reliable organizations (HROs) as organizations that manage safety hazards extremely well and do so consistently over extended periods of time. High reliability in health care is defined as a quality of care that is consistently delivered to every patient, every time with a commitment to zero harm. 

Attendees gained insights into how to assess current states of patient and worker safety, and how high-visibility strategies such as daily safety huddles and leadership rounding can positively affect how staff communicates safety concerns and, ultimately, patient outcomes. 

“It is exciting to see hospital leaders take their already strong commitment to patient safety to an even deeper level by taking these first steps in high reliability,” said Kelly Court, WHA chief quality officer. “The WHA team is excited to partner with our members on their journey to setting, and achieving, even higher standards of excellence.” 


This story originally appeared in the June 23, 2017 edition of WHA Newsletter