Hospital Trustee Resources

Navigating the Challenges of COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is placing unprecedented demands on the U.S. health system. As a “novel” or new virus, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is vaccine currently available. Therapies to treat victims are largely untested. Hospitals and their associated continuum of services – such as ambulatory care, long term care, home health care, laboratory and diagnostic services, and telemedicine – are crucial components of community response to the pandemic. The sheer rapidity at which the pandemic has grown requires that every community, hospital and health system across the country be as prepared as possible to receive and care for patients with COVID-19.

Governance in the Time of Coronavirus: What governing boards should do to respond to the pandemic
As part of the American Hospital Association's ongoing support of hospitals and health systems during the COVID-19 pandemic, AHA Trustee Services presents a podcast with governance expert Jamie Orlikoff.
This podcast is an AHA members-only resource. You must be logged on to access. If you need help logging on, please contact AHA at 800-424-4301 or at

Hospital Trustees Role in Overseeing Quality and Patient Safety

Hospital trustees play a vital role in ensuring that their hospitals provide high-quality healthcare. Trustees set the priorities for their institutions.  A hospital board that emphasizes meeting quality benchmarks sets the tone for its hospital.  Various organizations have resources that help trustees support high-quality care.  Here is a listing:

  • Eliminating Harm, Improving Patient Care: A Trustee Guide:  This guide, from the American Hospital Association, illustrates the important role that trustees play in the journey to improve patient care.  It serves as a tool for all trustees to use as they work toward the goals of improving quality within their organizations and improving the health of their patients and communities they serve.  Four new video modules and a discussion guide have been developed, as well as a self-assessment tool for boards.
  • Leading a Culture of Safety: A Blueprint for Success:  This document, from the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement/National Patient Safety Foundation Lucian Leape Institute, discusses the six domains of a culture of safety, including Domain #3: Select, Develop, and Engage Your Board.  It outlines tactics to engage patients and families on boards, reviews both foundational and sustaining strategies for success, and provides an assessment tool for evaluating current progress.
  • Framework for Effective Board Governance of Health System Quality:  This white paper from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) provides a framework, assessment tool and a support guide to assist organizations in their efforts to develop advanced abilities to govern quality in a manner that will deliver better care to patients and communities.  The accompanying research guide reviews the evidence regarding attributes of board commitment and engagement, in addition to the current landscape of trustee education.