Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Quality Saves Lives

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital studied the relationship between hospitals' performance on Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA) indicators and mortality rates. They found that patients in the hospitals in the highest quartile of HQA indicators had a better chance of living. Here's the money quote from the authors.
"It is clear that the United States has embarked on a continuing and expanding initiative to monitor the quality of hospital care. Our findings underscore the potential of this effort for improving quality of care and changing patient outcomes."

The connection for school administrators is crystal clear. We must monitor the quality of instructional care. That is the most effective action that we can take to change the course of our students' lives. When we attend to the fundamentals of good instruction and productive school climate, we create the environment in which students can thrive. Doug Reeves described these as the antecedents of learning. We would do well to determine what are the antecedents of learning that we believe undergird powerful learning, make those expectations clear and explicit to all teachers, and monitor their implementation every day. Our students will gain the greatest benefit.