Front Line of Defense: The Role of Nurses in Preventing Sentinel Events, 3rd edition

This first-ever co-publication from The Joint Commission and the American Nurses Association arms frontline nurses, nurse executives, and nurse managers with practical, customer-centric strategies for identifying and preventing the most common sentinel events in hospitals, ambulatory care, behavioral health care, home care, and nursing care centers.

Release Date: January 15, 2019. 422 pages.

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Front Line of Defense, Third Edition
  • Front Line of Defense, Third Edition
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Product Description

Product Description

Written especially for nurses working in a variety of health care settings, Front Line of Defense: The Role of Nurses in Preventing Sentinel Events, Third Edition, identifies the root causes of common sentinel events within the systems and processes of any health care environment. This new and revised edition offers useful, practical guidance on the steps all nurses can take to identify and help prevent sentinel events. This book takes a deep look into what nurses really need to know and provides practical tips to help them fulfill their mission of improving health care quality and patient safety.

New content in this third edition includes a brand-new chapter on preventing workplace violence, an in-depth look at health-care associated infections, detailed coverage of health information technology and electronic medical record keeping, up-to-date statistics about trends in sentinel events as reported to The Joint Commission, and numerous refreshed sentinel event examples and prevention strategies that illustrate how nurses can and should speak up to help improve patient safety in their organizations. Also featured are The Joint Commission’s standards and National Patient Safety Goals and how these relate to nurses’ daily work.

This collaborative effort features the work of The Joint Commission and that of the American Nurses Association to celebrate all nurses as advocates for patient safety. It recognizes the nurse’s unique role and opportunity to help prevent errors while improving health care for all.

Key Topics:

  • Surgical errors and the role of nurses in ensuring patient safety in perioperative care
  • Medication errors and the role of nurses in interacting with prescribers and pharmacists in ensuring safe medication use systems
  • The ongoing problem of patient falls and the role of nurses in identifying those at risk and monitoring and preventing such patients from falls
  • Heath care-associated infections, and the importance of nurses in preventing and controlling infections
  • The growing problem of suicide and the role of nurses in assessing and identifying those at risk and protecting those patients from self-harm and suicide
  • The role of nurses in ensuring maternal and perinatal safety
  • The effect of workplace violence on nurses and strategies to mitigate and prevent such violence
  • The most recent data reported to The Joint Commission about common sentinel events, including contributing factors, root cause analyses, and prevention strategies

Key Features:

  • Connections to Joint Commission standards and National Patient Safety Goals
  • Real-world examples of sentinel events, near misses, and close calls, all relevant to the nurse’s perspective
  • Sidebars offering in-depth analyses on timely topics
  • Practical infographics, figures, and tables


  • All levels of nurses in all types of health care settings, including
    • Registered nurses
    • Licensed practical and vocational nurses
    • Advanced practice nurses
    • Nurse executives and nurse managers
    • Nurse educators

Standards: Infection Prevention and Control (IC), Leadership (LD), Medication Management (MM), Medical Staff (MS), National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG), Nursing (NR), Provision of Care, Treatment, and Services (PC), Performance Improvement (PI), Rights and Responsibilities of the Individual (RI)

Settings: Hospitals, ambulatory care, behavioral health care, home care, and nursing care centers

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Click on the Table of Contents below for details.

Table of Contents



About the Author

Meghan Pillow, MSN, RN, is a freelance medical writer, researching and writing about patient safety issues in health care, as well as a college health nurse who focuses on the health, safety, wellbeing, and academic success of students. Previously, she worked as a critical care nurse at a community hospital in the suburbs of Chicago for ten years. While working in the hospital, she served on the critical care quality improvement committee, creating and revising policies and protocols to improve patient safety. Pillow is a certified critical care registered nurse (CCRN) through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. She earned a bachelor of science in nursing from Loyola University Chicago and a master of science in nursing from Chamberlain University; she is currently working to complete the post-master’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) certificate at North Park University, in Chicago.

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