The Institute of Medicine reports hospital errors rank between the fifth and eighth leading cause of death, killing more Americans than breast cancer, traffic accidents or AIDS. Data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that nursing home infections contribute to 380,000 deaths per year with costs reaching $2 billion. Despite more than a decade of national focus and investment on quality improvement and health care safety, best practices continue to elude health professionals.

Researchers at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis focus on advancing the successful implementation of quality improvement in long-term care settings. One study identifies and examines the role of nursing-home leadership teams and seeks to establish sustainable systems that promote and support quality and value. Another project focuses on building communications tools that could be leveraged when addressing families when errors occur. This research contributes to the overarching goal of ensuring that future clinicians and health leaders are better prepared to lead systems-level change in innovative, interprofessional ways.

Current research studies in this area include:

  • Directors of Nursing Guidelines for Delegation: Assistant Professor Elena Siegel is developing and testing a resource manual that directors of nursing can use as a reference to ensure the registered nurses safely and effectively delegate day-to-day tasks in nursing home settings.
  • Improving Dementia Care in Nursing Homes: Associate Adjunct Professor Debra Bakerjian and Assistant Professor Elena O. Siegel conduct independent research in a project aimed at improving dementia care.