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Barbara M. Balik, EdD, MS, RN
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Barbara M. Balik, EdD, MS, RN, is Principal, Common Fire Healthcare Consulting, Senior Faculty at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and member of the National Patient Safety Foundation Board of Advisors.

She works with health care leaders to build systems and culture for quality, safety, patient-family experience, and staff-provider engagement. Recent partnerships involved developing skills and systems for patient-and-family centered care, excellent patient experience, reliable transitions in care, and development of effective quality infrastructures. The systems developed assure sustained improvement and innovation every day. Ms. Balik has given numerous national presentations on patient safety, integrating patient safety as an essential organizational strategy with links to patient experience, clinical quality and financial vitality.
Her recent publications include:
  • The Heart of Leadership: Inspiration and Practical Guidance for Transforming Your Health Care Organization: A Study of Ten Transformational Healthcare Leaders. 2010. AHA Press.
  • Achieving an Exceptional Patient and Family Experience of Inpatient Hospital Care.  IHI Innovation Series White Paper. Cambridge, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement. 2011. (Available on
  • The importance of leadership to advance patient safety, in Patient Safety Handbook, 2nd edn., ed. by B. Youngberg. 2013.
  • Leaders’ role in patient experience. Healthcare Executive. 2011(Jul/Aug).
  • 10 Years after To Err Is Human: Are We Listening to Patients and Families Yet? Focus on Patient Safety. 2010(Spr); 13(1):1–3.
  • What Makes a Positive Patient Experience?  Patient Safety Monitor. 2011(Oct);12(10).
  • A Guide for Field Testing: Creating an Ideal Transition to a Skilled Nursing Facility. 2010. Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Her previous roles include: Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Minnesota, Executive Vice President of Quality, Safety, and Technology; CEO at United Hospital and Clinics; Vice President of Patient Care/Chief Nursing Officer at United Hospital; System Chief Nursing Officer Council Chair; Minneapolis Children’s Medical Center, Vice President of Patient Care/Chief Nursing Officer.

Ms. Balik completed her BS and MS in nursing and a doctorate in educational leadership.


August 2015

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