Front Line of Defense: The Role of Nursing in Preventing Sentinel Events

Front Line of Defense: The Role of Nursing in Preventing Sentinel Events
3rd Ed.
2018 © Joint Commission Resources
Meghan Pillow, MSN, RN
ISBN-13: 978-1-63585-061-1
Nursing, Patient Safety and Quality Improvement


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.

Written 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 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. 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.

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

Audience: All levels of nurses in all types of health care settings

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

Doody's Reviews

Score: 95/100
4/5 Stars
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Quotes, Reviews or Testimonials

"Nurses are at the bedside 24/7 and there are endless opportunities for them to lead continuous improvement and sustainment activities in the varied settings. This book helps nurses review the most current literature and provide practical strategies to identify and help prevent sentinel events...
I love this book. The chapters/topics are near and dear to my heart. It is a splendid and much-needed update."

-- Debra DellaRatta, MSN, CPHQ (James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital) Doody's Review


This book is written for nurses at all stages of their careers: novices, experts, leaders, staff nurses, educators, etc. It specifically notes that nurses are not solely responsible for safety events and are part of the larger, multidisciplinary healthcare team. The author is an MSN prepared RN who is working to complete a post master's Family Nurse Practitioner certificate.

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